Homeless: When Cold, ‘It’s Rough Out There’

By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’re seeing record breaking lows in some parts of Minnesota. So how are the homeless weathering the climate?

The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in downtown Minneapolis sheltered 450 people overnight, along with another 50 at First Covenant Church.

“It’s rough, it’s rough out there,” said Ronald Harris who stays at the shelter. Harris is currently enrolled in a drug and alcohol treatment program at Harbor Light.

Harris said many years ago he would try to stay out in the cold, that’s before he found out about local shelters.

“The Salvation Army said ‘come on in we have staff here that can help you,'” said Harris. “It’s no picnic out there.”

Overnight, advocates at Harbor Light treated a homeless man with frostbitten feet.

“He was out in the cold trying to get here,” said Jerome Maxie an Advocate at Harbor Light. “He had trouble taking his shoes off. And when they took his shoes and socks off his feet were swollen so big because of the cold and they were blistered.”

Maxie and another advocate jumped into action and cleaned and wrapped the man’s feet in bandages. Then they called paramedics.

“She wrapped his feet so good and cleaned them. That the paramedics said she did a better job then what they would have done,” said Maxie.

Maxie says the man was taken to an area hospital.

Fred Morris also lives at a local shelter. He said most of the time the homeless spend the day wandering from warm place to warm place during the winter.

“It’s terrible when you don’t have a place to go,” said Morris.

Morris says he often time he sees other homeless get tickets for loitering. Today he’s glad to hear Harbor Light will keep a space open for 24 hours, so people can stay warm during this cold snap.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

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