Church leaders check elderly for cold - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Church leaders check elderly for cold

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Community leaders are reaching out to people who could be in danger because of this unusually cold weather. They're asking for your help to make sure the elderly stay warm and safe.

With temperatures expected about 20 tonight, the Albany Rescue Mission is opening up their chapel tonight to house the many homeless they expect to seek a warm place to sleep tonight. Some church leaders are worried about elderly people in the community, living alone, who could be cold in their homes. They are going door to door checking on them.

Pastor David Wilson checks on Mary James, to make sure she has sufficient heat. Rhema Word International Ministries sent out several people today to check on elderly members of their congregation...making sure they are safe.

Bishop Victor Powell said "You'd be surprised how many elderly people will tell you they get no visitors. The family members don't come by or call."

Public health officials say the elderly are often at risk in extreme cold, and community leaders worry that many seniors will not turn their heat up because of money worries. So Rhema Word leaders are visiting many seniors today to check.

Powell said "Just warning them of the cold weather. Dressing up when they go to bed. Double layer, turn your water on so pipes don't freeze. And just reminding them to turn the heat up so it comes on a little bit more often and they are warm."

Mary James has her heat on, and can't imagine why anyone would not.

James said "I don't know, but if they don't they sure are cold."

Rhema Word leaders say they can't reach everyone, so they are asking you to check on the elderly in your neighborhood, and make sure they can stay warm during this extreme cold.

Albany Water Gas and Light is not turning off anyone's power because of the freezing temperatures, to make sure their heat continues even if they can't pay their bill. W.G.and L. officials know that people have died from heat exposure in many years, but they say they have no recorded instance of a person dying from the cold in Albany. They want to make sure that stays true in this week of forecast extreme cold.

The Lowndes County Emergency Management Office has opened a shelter for people because of the cold.

The Mathis City Auditorium opened at six this evening and will stay open until 10 in the morning.

Food is not provided there, and pets are not allowed.

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