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Helping the homeless get to shelters during Seattle’s snow storm

9.5 inches of snow in Snohomish County. (Snohomimsh County Emergency Management)

Of chief concern during Seattle’s snow storm are those living outside who are struggling to get through the cold. Mary’s Place Executive Director Marty Hartman spoke with The Saul Spady Show about the dire situation many are facing this week, and what the public can do to help.

“We know that there are hundreds of families who are hunkered down in their cars, turning on their motors every 15 minutes to try and keep their kids warm, sitting on the front seat of the U-Haul instead of where they normally live because the front has heat,” she said. “We know they’re in public storage units just trying to stay warm and not be noticed.”

“These families are scared, they’re frightened, they’re freezing.”

Hartman wants to get the word out to those vulnerable in the cold that they can call the shelter intake line at 206-245-1026. King County is also making extra shelter beds available at the King County Administration Building through Wednesday night for those experiencing homelessness during the winter storm. Kitsap County has opened four sever weather shelters as well, including Gateway Fellowship, Port Orchard United Methodist Church, Silverdale United Methodist Church, Village Green Community Center. People can learn more about available shelters by calling 2-1-1.

RELATED: Snow will continue to affect Western Washington through Monday

“They can come into any four of our family shelters today and get the services they need,” Hartman said. “If you see a family outside, we have a link where you can identify them and tell us where they are. Sometimes that’s the hardest part for our staff, is finding and locating them.”

Mary’s place recently raised $1,937,463 for the “No Child Sleeps Outside” program, which will make it possible for them to help upwards of 900 families move from tents and cars into permanent housing.

Hartman says they could also use donations of warm clothes, blankets, and anything related that could help families stay warm and alive during the cold. To donate, head to www.marysplaceseattle.org

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