While hot meals and warm places to stay are available for the homeless to take advantage of, some don't automatically seek it out in this bitter weather.
So, the Durham Rescue Mission goes out to get them.
Friday, teams from the rescue mission went into the community to pass out flyers to let Durham's homeless know they have an option.
Paul Wilkens first hand knowledge of that struggle helps him find the homeless camps. Wilkens and a team from the rescue mission found some empty homeless camps where they left flyers about the shelter.
The group finds beer bottles hear a clothesline in the camp.
"This is what keeps them out here. Alcoholism and drug addiction," Wilkens said.
Wilkens said he often braved the sub-freezing temperatures while sleeping under a bridge on Liberty Street.
"I kind of let my pride get in the way where as though I could have went down to the shelter," Wilkens said.
He uses his experience to encourage people to get out pf the cold, to find warmth.
The Durham Rescue Mission has space for 300 men while another facility has room for 140 women.
The number of people turning to the shelter is up 37 percent from a year ago, according to the rescue mission.