Shelter bed shortage leaves homeless cold

Beds in the Salvation Army men's bedroom. / WFXL File

Albany is made up of 77,000 people and among those, 2,000 arehomeless. This winter many will not have a place to stay warm.

There are only 92 shelter beds available throughout the city. The Albany Salvation Army has 30 beds for men and 14 for women.

Those with Albany's Homeless Coalition say there's an uptick of people needing services when the weather turns cold.

"I think most of us can endure the summers here in Albany but when it gets cold we've noticed people seeking shelter more often," said David Blackwell, Chair of the Albany Homeless Coalition.

In the summer, there are about 630 people staying at the Salvation Army per month. That's only slightly higher than the 500 who seek shelter in the winter.

Major Kelly English with the Salvation Army says those numbers are high year round.

The people who stay in shelters also eat, shower, and use other resources to maintain until they get back on their feet. Officials say thankfully during the holiday season there's an abundance of charity to go around.

David Blackwell addressed city officials about the lack of shelter space. He's hoping in the future they will address the issue.