Homeless flock to area shelters as temperatures reach dangerous lows

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As the temperatures outside continue to drop, the number of bodies inside this shelter reached an all-time high.

"A lot of people don't have backpacks and coats. They come down here with nothing, and even in this weather some of them do with really light coats. And they make sure we stay warm," said William Royalty.

William Royalty has been homeless for the last several years and says this was the coldest weekend he can remember.

"Yeah I would say it is the coldest, especially when that wind hits your face, you know it. And then the ice, walking on that is even worse. I saw people falling down all over the place," Royalty added.

"In fact, this weekend Kansas City Rescue Mission extended their hours and brought in extra staff during the day to provide lunch and a warm place to stay.

"Today is about making sure everyone is safe, making sure everyone is covered and no one is endangered to the elements," said Larry Hansen, Shelter Service Supervisor.

Hansen says there are 65 beds at the shelter. They pulled extra mattresses into the chapel, enough room for 21 more. 86 people slept there Saturday night.

With Christmas day exactly one week away, Hansen says every bit of help makes a big difference.