Local homeless shelter staying open during snowy weekend

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A local homeless shelter downtown is staying open Friday until Monday morning due to a winter storm coming into the city.

Inter-Faith Ministries is usually only open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. serving dinner and breakfast to homeless individuals.

Christen Sampamurthy, director of programs and compliance at Inter-Faith Ministries said they are serving lunch throughout the weekend, and will offer more amenities.

"We do offer case management to every client that comes to us in order to help connect them with services and different resources that they may need to help stabilize them and get them back on their feet," she said.

She said they also provide a nurse for basic healthcare. One homeless man said he plans to take advantage of the amenities for the next 48 hours they're open.

""More than likely," said Brandon Purdy. "There's a chance that I will. I mean they give you a lot of amenities. They help you with a cot, they throw a blanket over you."

Purdy said he has been homeless on and off since he was 17 years old. He said, shelters like Inter-Faith Ministries are what has helped him get through life.

"This is one of the ways to get through," he said. "In any case I think Wichita has a lot more amenities than most people do when it comes to homelessness."

Another homeless man said he is going to wait out the weather. He said doesn't go to shelters even if it's on the other end of the spectrum.

"Sub zero's not that bad, I mean on the other end it's just the same thing as 105 in the summer," said a homeless man that goes by the name six. "We're going to have that to and I'm still going to be down here."

Six said his reasoning is because he wants to be there for those that live near him and his encampment under a bridge.

"I got some other people that I take care of," he said. "I go by and make sure they're OK. Older people, and one's that can't get around, I make sure they have something to eat and that they're taken care of."

According to Sampamurthy the shelter helped 1,013 homeless individuals from November 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. She said they serve around 120 people on any night and she expects that number to rise over the weekend. The shelter opens at 6 p.m. Friday.