MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — This harsh winter has created a greater need for emergency shelters on Long Island.

Nassau County’s Warm Bed program has seen a three-fold increase in the number of people seeking emergency shelter.

In Suffolk, all of its 52 county shelters are full, forcing them to house homeless families in motels.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reports on the overcrowding at Long Island homeless shelters

The barrage of winter storms has been a big part of the problem. Social Services officials told Newsday that the weather has forced many who would not normally seek shelter to look for help.

One advocate for the homeless is calling this one of the most difficult winters in years for people in need.

“Clearly it’s been a much more difficult winter for the unsheltered homeless than it has been in many years,” Greta Guarton, executive director of the nonprofit Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, told Newsday.

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