Cold weather leads to crowded shelters

PORTLAND (WGME) — The Oxford Street Shelter is expecting more than 500 people as the temperature drops Wednesday night. The overflow space at the Preble Street Resource Center typically holds 75 and repairs were made in time to accommodate all of those people, but shelter directors say many will still be left out in the cold because there is just too great a demand and not enough space.

“For the people who use our shelters, this cold weather is devastating, it adds just an element of safety and health concerns to what is already an awful situation for people if they don’t have a place to stay,” said Preble Street Executive Director Mark Swann.

Swann says the soup kitchen and shelters are busier than ever as well. City leaders say not having enough room is a problem on a nightly basis.