SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield city government is preparing for the bitterly cold temperatures ahead.
The city has drafted their Cold Weather Response Plan and the mayor says it will be implemented through the start of the new year.
Get ready for an early season arctic blast. The 22News Storm Team is forecasting bitterly cold temperatures with a wind chill that could make it feel below zero.
Springfield says they are ready to help the homeless.
“Yeah I was homeless quite a few times and honestly, living out here on the streets it’s hard, especially trying to find a warm place to crash in this type of weather. So I would honestly recommend to anybody who is out there homeless at the moment to take advantage of any warm shelter they can get,” said Tyler Quinn of Springfield.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno told 22News they are reviewing the possibility of opening schools and other municipal buildings as temporary warming shelters.
“I also indicate to the viewers of 22News, check on your neighbors. Especially your senior citizen neighbors. It’s always important. And your pets. This is an early spell of extreme frigid and cold weather,” explained Sarno.
The city’s Cold Weather Response Plan will mobilize teams from the Department of Health and Human Services. They will carry water and blankets. These cold weather response teams will be taking calls from the Springfield Police Department after they’ve identified someone who might be in need of transportation to warm place.
Mayor Sarno told 22News that by law, if a homeless person in distress declines their help they can’t forcibly get them off the streets.
Springfield says that no matter how many people need help, they won’t turn anyone away.
Stay with 22News and WWLP.com as we continue to cover the impact of the bitter cold on communities across western Massachusetts.