People helping out homeless as bitter cold temperatures move in to Southwest Virginia

ROANOKE, Va. – While most of us will be staying inside as much as we can these next few days, some of our less fortunate neighbors don't always have that opportunity, being left outside.

Linda McFarland is on the move, taking the few things she has and preparing to hunker down. She's in a tough spot, and with a winter blast inbound, how she lives just can't hold up.

"I probably would freeze to death. So would Colleen, and my dog is my main worry. That's the reason I'm not in a shelter, because they don't allow dogs," said McFarland.

A trip to a warm hotel room is in order. 

As we face bone-chilling winds and dangerous low temperatures, there are a few folks keeping an eye out for the most vulnerable.

"These are lives that could be dead. We could find them dead tomorrow, under bridges and in campsites and things like that, so we go into overdrive," said Dawn Sandoval, founder of the Least of These Ministry.


The Least of These Ministry is on the road Sunday, helping as many folks as they can. Whether it be taking people like McFarland to a warm hotel room or providing things to keep you warm, the ministry van is getting some miles. 

"These are human beings, and they didn't ask to be homeless. There's so many circumstances that bring them to homelessness, and a lot of us are one paycheck away from being homeless," said Sandoval. 

McFarland and her family will be out of the cold thanks to the ministry and community support. They're thankful for what little they do have and for others' generosity.

"Thanks to these people right here, God's really stepping them forward and sheltering us. God sent his angels to people, and they're angels," said McFarland. 

"We're hustling, and this community has been amazing. I'll put a plea out and say 'Hey, we're going to put some folks in rooms,' and the next thing we know, people start pouring into our PayPal to help us. We couldn't do it without this community," said Sandoval.