Men who wish to escape the cold are required to pass a breathalyzer test and cannot be a sex offender. Those who meet the requirements can call it a night inside the building. ERM is housing around 200 men Monday night.
Joe Hayes has lived in the shelter for six months. He says he worries about the men, women and children who stay on the streets during frigid weather. "I know how it is, you know, go to bed shaking don't know if you're gonna wake up or not -- alive, not froze to death," says Hayes. "Makes you worry about everybody, thinking they are out there in the cold."
In a few weeks ERM will move to a larger facility located in the city's old VA clinic on Walnut Street near Memorial Baptist Church. Around 440 people are homeless in Evansville. With the new space, the ERM estimates it would be able to house around 40-percent of those people every night. ERM will host an open house at its New location February 10. Organizers hope it will be in full operation by Valentine's Day.
Due to the move, the current location's kitchen has been disassembled. ERM says it is in need of donated one-dish meals that can be heated and served, as volunteers are unable to cook in the kitchen at this time.