As winter keeps its frigid grip on the region, people bundle up even when only having to spend a few minutes outside while moving from their cars to a heated home or business.
Now imagine having no place to stay when the temperature plummets, snow or rain falls and the wind seems to cut right through no matter how many layers of clothing you have on.
It's a situation some men might be facing, especially after the Altoona Rescue Mission shelter for men closed in October amid a financial strain.
That shelter at 815 Lexington Ave., which could accommodate 15, was one of two Blair County facilities that offered men who didn't have a certain need - such as trying to get off drugs or alcohol or escaping domestic violence - a place to stay. Family Services Inc. also operates a shelter for men but can only accommodate 16 people at a time.
Once those beds are filled, men looking for a warm place to sleep must look elsewhere.
The rescue mission shelter served 100 to 200 men a year.
A 2004 fire that destroyed an earlier shelter left the group saddled with a mortgage, and donations and proceeds from a thrift store at 1308 Ninth St. weren't enough to keep up with the bills. After getting behind on its mortgage and with funds dwindling, the mission had to close its shelter.
According to GuideStar, which tracks reports that nonprofit organizations file with the Internal Revenue Service, Altoona Rescue Mission in 2011 had revenues of $76,165 and expenses totaling $86,895.
Since the group - with only $200 in its bank account at the time - closed the shelter in October, it has received some donations to get current with its mortgage. But much more will be needed to provide a financial footing that will allow the shelter to reopen.
That's where Reliance Bank is stepping up to help.
The Altoona-based financial institution is offering to match donations, up to a total of $25,000, to the rescue mission. That $50,000 influx would get the Altoona Rescue Mission in good financial order and allow it to reopen the shelter.
But that won't be possible unless area residents open their hearts and their wallets to raise the $25,000 that Reliance Bank will match.
The Altoona Mirror is helping with the effort by providing awareness about the Altoona Rescue Mission and including an addressed envelope in today's edition to make it easy for readers to mail in donations.
Even small donations will help, especially if a lot of area residents chip in.
Most of us, fortunately, will never know what it's like to be homeless in the middle of winter.
But if that ever happens, we hope that the community will provide the help to offer at least a warm place to find some shelter.
And with our gifts, we can help ensure that will be the case.