As frigid cold bears down, here’s how the homeless in the Triangle could use your help

Dangerously cold temperatures in the forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday

Check out the ABC11 weather forecast for the latest on a wave of dangerously cold weather.
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Check out the ABC11 weather forecast for the latest on a wave of dangerously cold weather.

A polar vortex that is generating 15 mph winds and tiny temperatures across the Triangle makes us want to button our coats all the way up and pile on the blankets.

But what about our homeless neighbors, who may be missing their buttons, or not even have a coat or a blanket?

Local shelters expect to have additional clients looking for a safe place to spend tonight, when the temperature will drop to 15 degrees, and Thursday night, when it will be 23 degrees. White flag shelter rules, which apply whenever the temperature is 32 degrees or below, will be in effect, meaning shelter operators can temporarily exceed their normal capacity to get people out of the dangerous cold.

Some of them could use a little help with donated items. These are most useful when they’re clean and in good repair.

The Women’s Center of Wake County welcomes Walmart or Target gift cards, financial donations and gifts of the following items: hand warmers; blankets; sleeping bags and mats; towels and washcloths; hygiene wipes; soap and deodorant; thermal socks in all sizes; winter coats in all sizes; thermal gloves and hats; scarves; new or gently used backpacks; bottled water; and granola bars or other healthful individually packaged snacks. Items can be dropped at 112 Cox Avenue, Raleigh, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Financial gifts also may be made through the website.

The Helen Wright Center for Women at 401 W. Cabarrus Street always needs soap and deodorant, as well as clean twin-sized bedding. Please call before bringing items to the center: 919-833-1748.

The Raleigh Rescue Mission would welcome donations through its website, which would allow for the purchase of emergency items.

Healing Transitions, which runs separate centers for men and women, needs cold-weather clothing in all sizes for men and women; twin size bedding; and gift cards for emergency supplies. Items can be delivered to the men’s center, 1251 Goode St., Raleigh, or to the women’s center, 3304 Glen Royal Road, Raleigh, at any time.

The Durham Rescue Mission, which houses and feeds people at its facility at 1201 E. Main St., Durham, is asking for pillow cases and twin bed sheets; towels and washcloths; breakfast meats; canned vegetables; chicken; eggs; ground beef; and any variety of soup. Items can be delivered to the center at any time.

Urban Minstries of Durham needs sheets, towels, blankets, washcloths and non-perishable foods for residents of its emergency shelter. Items can be brought to the resource center at 410 Liberty Street, Durham, between 9 a.m .and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m to 2 p.m on Saturday. Look for the purple awning and go through the double glass doors. Financial donations can be made through the agency’s website.

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Martha Quillin is a general assignment reporter at The News & Observer who writes about North Carolina culture, religion and social issues. She has held jobs throughout the newsroom since 1987.