DURHAM, N.C. – WNCN News, Eileen Park
Shelters across the Triangle are putting out white flags to let those in need know it is open.
The Rob Tart and others from the Durham Rescue Mission set out on foot to find those who need a warm bed.
Tart serves as chief operation officer for the mission and has stepped up patrols due to the frigid forecast.
“A lot of times these homeless guys can make it in these rough weathers and they’ll take a punch in the last few days and think they’re good to go,” Tart said.
Rodney Taborn is out searching, too. But the search for Taborn is personal.
He was homeless for two years but is now a staff member with the Durham Rescue Mission.
Taborn said he remembers sleeping in freezing temperatures.
“I’ve seen people freeze to death,” Taborn said. “It could have been me. Laying there frozen to death.”
The possibility of freezing to death is very real with temperatures forecasted in the single digits.
During the third stop of their search, Michael Laurie is found panhandling on the street. Those with the mission offered Laurie coffee and a cupcake.
Laurie said the last 48 have been a shock to his system. He said he has been staying in abandoned houses to stay warm.
He said his fear of freezing to death is why he has agreed to stay at the mission.
“I’m thankful for the Durham Rescue Mission,” Laurie said. “I was planning on going there tonight.”
Earlier this week, Raleigh police said two men whose bodies were found off Corporation Parkway died from exposure.