Winter Night Watch expands in to south Omaha

Omaha, NE – The Salvation Army's Winter Night Watch program has expanded for its 22nd year.

Winter Night Watch began Wednesday evening. The program, which provides meals and warm clothing to Omaha's homeless and near-homeless, has two mobile operations this year. One canteen covers north and east Omaha, five nights a week.

This year, a donation from Dundee Presbyterian Church provided for a second canteen, which patrols south Omaha two nights a week. Salvation Army of Omaha spokeswoman Susan Eustice says there's an increased need for the Winter Night Watch services.

"Typically at the height of the season there are about 400 individuals that come to the Winter Night Watch van for comfort each night, it's amazing," Eustice says. "In south Omaha we looked at our back-to-school distribution and a couple of other things we've done down there with a new food pantry, there is a huge need. So this number could double at the height of the season."

Eustice says the Winter Night Watch served more than 11,500 meals last year. Both Winter Night Watch vehicles will provide meals and winter clothes through February.