AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – As Massachusetts heads toward colder months, those experiencing homelessness will be facing dangers brought on by cold temperatures.
“This is a life-threatening cold, New England is famous for this. And we are very careful on days like this with the heavy wind to make sure that people can get out of the cold. That is why we are open 24 hours a day,” Kevin Noonan, Executive Director of Craigs Doors said.
Craig’s Doors in Amherst has been running a 24/7 emergency shelter at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst for the winter. The organization provides a warm space, bed, and food, among other services to the most vulnerable of our community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges to the homeless community. Noonan said it is critical now more than ever that the needs of those experiencing homelessness are met.
“COVID is a horrible nightmare, because of our limited capacity of 14 beds, we do try to find other shelters but they are all full. If people have sleeping bags or tents that they want to donate to we will be happy to receive them,” Noonan told 22News.
People experiencing homelessness have a much higher risk of developing exposure-related conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite.
According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, 700 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness are killed from hypothermia annually in the United States.
To learn more about services provided by Craig’s Doors, click here.