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Some Prepare to Brave Winter Storm Head On--Mikayla Lewis

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--While many Tennesseans are stocking up on supplies to ride out the next winter storm in their homes, some are preparing to face the bitter cold and harsh conditions head on.

Theodore Lee Collins said," Layers of ice they fall down on top of you and just have to keep yourself wrapped up."

Theodore Lee Collins lives in a tent surrounded by cardboard boxes in  East Nashville. How does he plan to stay warm?

Collins explained, "That fire pit and that cardboard and pallets. Just build you big old fire and curl up around it."

The 45-year-old is a Tennessee native and was once married, but he ended up homeless in Nashville in 1997.

Collins said, "Just get out here and ask for work, we don't steal."

He works odd jobs like painting and running errands for residents. Sometimes he gets enough money to stay in a hotel, but this weekend he will be right here. Collins says a homeless shelter is not an option, because he cannot bring his beloved pitbulls: Suzie and Butch, with him.

"I don't have any children. These two right here are my life, " he said.

Collins is not the only one braving the cold. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors report: Nashville homeless families increased by 25% in the last year.

While Metro shelters are preparing for the winter storm and more clients, organizations in Clarksville are also getting ready. Manna Cafe Ministries is a non-profit that provides a food pantry and weekly meals for those in need. Last Manna Cafe Ministries distributed nearly 1.5 million pounds of food to the community. Their services are year-round, but today they are joining forces with other non-profits  preparing for a warming station for those in need.

Manna Cafe Ministries assistant director, Jaemi Serrano said, "We try to reach out to them year round with feeding them meals and things like that, but we want to make sure there they know there is some place they can go to stay warm."

The warming shelter  will be at First Baptist Church (435 Madison Street) in Clarksville from 4 P.M. Sunday, January 5th - Wednesday, January 8th. Blankets, cots, clothes and food will be provided. Anyone needing shelter will be allowed to stay as long as they want.

Although, Theodore Collins is not going to any shelter, he says is not worried.

"You just keep the faith and know that the Lord is with you," added Collins.

Manna Cafe is collecting donations of food, warm clothing, etc. call 933-0970 for more information.

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