Local shelters are feeling the strain as cold weather and overpopulation push them to the limit.

One of the shelters that spoke to WJET has twice as many people needing their services than usual.

Community Shelter Services is in dire straits because they have doubled the nightly need since the fire at Saint Patrick’s Haven.

“Right now with the cold weather coming and it being so wet outside, they are knocking at our doors. We are more than full every night,” said Diane Lazette, Community Shelter Services. “We are putting people on cots in the hallways. We even have them in the laundry rooms.”

Lazette added that all the local shelters are full to compacity and more. They are also low on supplies including, bedding, paper products and coffee.

Many of their clients are families with young children.

“It’s horrible when you see the kids needing a warm place to stay. You want to make sure they have the hygiene products, you want to make sure they are going back to school every morning with clean undergarments,” Lazette said.

While they do what they can with what they have, the organization can always use more help.

“We always need men’s clothing. Right now it’s something we are running short on, and monetary donations are something we need as well,” said Lazette.

The Mental Health Association is also dealing with overflow and a need for more donations.

“I think each and every agency, we are always in need of donations of warm clothing and to-go food. Something that somebody can throw in their backpack — something small, personal hygiene items and any donations of cash,” Patricia Stucke, Mental Health Association.

If you are interested in helping, contact Community Shelter Services online.