CHICAGO — As Chicagoans endure brutal temperatures, a group of homeless men no longer have to brave the cold weather outdoors, thanks to the Salvation Army.

Organizers told WGN News that 99 men are now off the streets, with a warm and safe place to stay over the next few months. Nikki Hughes, a captain with the Salvation Army, hopes many more in need reach out for assistance.

“We had the opportunity to get them out of the cold weather,” Hughes said. “With Covid going on and being high, we are able to shelter them here and we are anticipating staying that way until the end of March.”  

The Harbor Light Emergency Homeless Shelter at the Salvation Army Freedom Center will operate 24 hours a day on the city’s West Side. 

As Chicagoans endure brutal temperatures, a group of homeless men no longer have to brave the cold weather outdoors, thanks to the Salvation Army.

“Just coming through this area, you’re passing by a tent city,” Hughes said. “I’m cold, you’re cold, we’re all cold and I cannot imagine being homeless and sleeping in the cold weather.”

Organizers say if a homeless person needs assistance, they may call 311. 

In addition to beds, the shelter will supply meals, clothes and personal care packages.

The shelter will require face masks, temperature checks and social distancing. Staff will also give Covid kits with hand sanitizers, gloves, face masks and other items. 

The shelter will also double as a warming shelter. 

“We are being hosted as a warming shelter, so if there’s people that need to get out the cold from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., we have another section of the building they can come in and stay for those hours,” Hughes said. “Warm-up. Sleep. Get a hot coffee. And then they can continue on their way the next day.”