CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It was incredibly cold Monday morning, and will be even colder Tuesday morning.
Friends of the Homeless shelter in Springfield has their resource center on Worthington Street that is open during the day where guests can stay warm. They also offer information and assistance getting work, housing and healthcare at the center.
People who experience homelessness are some of the most impacted by seasonal changes and extreme temperatures. Cold weather can cause hypothermia, especially at night. Symptoms include: memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness, and shivering. Frost bite is also a risk which mainly impacts your extremities like fingers, toes, facial features.
At Friends of the Homeless, they’ve partnered with police to find people who are outside and bring them to a warm shelter.
“The cold that’s coming up is life threatening, so we need people to know that, be aware of that, spread the word and when it gets down to zero, people can die outside and we don’t want that to happen.” Bill Miller, CSO VP of Housing and Homeless Services
Bill says one of the biggest problems is related services such as substance abuse services are shut down cause of COVID-19 and staffing. So services they might need for their clients aren’t available and that’s driving their shelter numbers up.
If you see someone at night outside sleeping in these cold temperatures, to call 911 so can officer can help get them to a warm location.