“I’m still here, I’m still alive,” man at Chicopee homeless encampment tells 22News I-Team

I-Team

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts is covered in a thick blanket of snow, putting more strain on the area’s homeless population. 

On Tuesday, 22News took you inside a homeless encampment in Chicopee. On Wednesday, we went back to see how they’re managing – in all this snow. 

Larry Ryan told 22News, “There ain’t much out here. This is it. Day by day.” 

We first met Ryan of Chicopee nearly three weeks ago. He showed the I-Team where he lives – and gave us an idea of what it’s like to live in a homeless encampment of outdoor homes built out of plywood and tarps. 

On the day of that interview, nearly three weeks ago, the sun was shining with temperatures in the low 50’s. So, the 22News I-Team went back to see how Ryan is coping now that western Massachusetts saw its first major snowstorm. 

Larry: I’m still there, I’m still alive obviously – you know? Just bundle up with lots of blankets. And like I said, I got the heaters up in there. It’s all good man. 

Don: I met him, and he said that you’ve been helping him out. 

Larry: I have. I have. I try to help as many people as I can. 

The man we’re referring to didn’t want to be identified for fear of embarrassing his family. The 26-year old showed us inside the structure he’s been calling home for the past month. 

Don: And you added the insulation in here? 

Man: Yeah, I had to. 

But this is his last evening here. He’s proud to say he’s moving into his own apartment – while giving credit to Ryan for helping him to survive. 

Man: He was always there and show me that there’s always somebody else here. You know what I mean? There’s somebody else here going through the same stuff I’m going through. Everybody should know Larry. Larry is a good guy man. 

Don: What do you plan to do. You were still going to stay out there the whole winter? 

Larry: Yes 

Don: No one can convince you otherwise? 

Larry: I’m not going into the shelter, no. No way. I’ve done that I’ve tried it like I said before done it tried it not doing it. Not doing it. I’m like Grizzly Adams out here man. 

A representative with the Friends of the Homeless in Springfield said that on any given night, about 160 people visit their Worthington Street facility. 

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