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CLEVELAND -- The cold weather continues to hit our area's homeless particularly hard.

In just the past couple days, Cleveland's City Mission has seen a dramatic increase in those seeking shelter.

"Really, there's no need for anyone to be out on the street on a night like this," said City Mission CEO Rich Trickel. "The wonderful thing about Cleveland is we have enough emergency beds and the city has made a commitment to provide a bed or shelter to anyone who is looking."

On Tuesday night, City Mission's collective facilities saw more than 280 men, women, and children looking to get out of the cold.

City Mission also serves as the overflow for the county men's shelter at 2100 Lakeside Avenue.

"I don't think the general public understands the complexity of homelessness," said Trickel. "Typically, if there's a man or a woman that is homeless and they're on the street, there's a whole host of very complicated reasons that resulted in that."

While this recent surge in numbers may seem like a strain on resources, Trickel says their non-profit has relied on private donations for more than 100 years and Cleveland residents have always stepped up in big ways.

"Being supported entirely by the individuals from Cleveland, it's a wonderful testament, even in the face of the problems that we have as a city…we're an unbelievably philanthropic city."

Saturday marks the 23rd annual Homeless Stand Down event which helps distribute items such as new or gently used clothing, as well as toiletries, to the areas homeless. You can still drop off donations at our station at 1333 Lakeside Avenue until Thursday night. Warm boots are most in need.

Together we can make a difference in our community.

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