Cold front sweeps in, Operation Deep Freeze now in effect

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Cold front sweeps in, Operation Deep Freeze now in effect

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED Dec 5, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With temperatures plummeting overnight, the Salvation Army launched "Operation Deep Freeze". It's a special program where the homeless can take a warm shower, receive a hot meal and sleep in a safe place out of the cold.

The Hospitality House opened its doors Thursday to the homeless and had extra beds on hand at an overflow shelter at St. Pauls United Methodist Church on the east side. About 45 people were shuttled to the overflow location.

David and Elizabeth Meyers and their two kids are one of the many families seeking shelter. 

"It's bone chilling," said Elizabeth. "It's horrid."

Originally from Wisconsin and homeless, they know what it's like to sleep outside in sub-freezing temperatures.

"You're shivering all night," said David. "When you wake up you're still cold, and then it takes you half a day to warm up again."

It's an experience they don't want to put their kids through.

"My children, my baby would probably die," said Elizabeth.

The Salvation Army runs "Operation Deep Freeze" anytime temperatures drop below 40 degrees with rain or below 35 degrees and dry.

The Salvation Army is desperately in need of warm coats and blankets.  Staff said donations have been sparse this year. Donations of new and gently used coats, warm clothing, mittens, gloves, scarves, and blankets can be dropped off at any of the five Naughton's locations in Tucson. You can also drop them off at Burlington's.