Cold temps means busier time for Union Gospel Mission - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cold temps means busier time for Union Gospel Mission

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- We're still a few weeks away from the official start of winter but we have been seeing winter like temperatures, especially at night which means harder times for the homeless.

The Union Gospel Mission says although their numbers stay fairly consistent throughout the year, during the winter months, the number of people staying at the mission overnight tends to increase.

And that's been the case so far this fall. 

It's been cold in the Yakima Valley, nighttime temps particularly. Tuesday's high temperature was forecasted right around 40 degrees, but at night it was expected to drop into the teens.

A reality that many homeless people at the Union Gospel Mission worry about.

"There are a lot of people that are very grateful to have a roof over their head, not only that but to have some heating," Director of the Union Gospel Mission, Rick Phillips said.

"I have lived on the street before and I know about the dangers and I know how much safety this place provides," said Robin Wentworth, a guest at the Union Gospel Mission.

Safety, Wentworth says, especially during the winter. He says he's lived on the street during the cold months and is thankful to the mission that he's not there this year.

UGM says not only have they seen an increase in overnight guests but things like their medical clinic, meals, and food box program have also seen a rise in users.