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Few Shelters Open To Homeless On Cold Christmas Night

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Christmas night this year was cold, bone-chillingly cold.

But for the homeless — like Darryl Carpenter — they were particularly grateful for shelter that was offered Tuesday at St. Stephens Church in Minneapolis.

Living In Winter

The good days for Carpenter are when the heat lamp works at the bus stop.

“I’m not one of the lucky few, so to speak, who has the proper winter gear,” he said.

He’s been homeless since the end of April.

“Like other people, I was hoping the job market was going to be a lot better than what it turned out to be,” Carpenter said.

While being homeless has been shock enough to him, he says the cold makes it worse.

“When we leave our shelters in the morning, we have to be gone all day until like 4, 5, 8 at night,” Carpenter said. “So it makes for a long, difficult, cold day.”

Thinking Of Others

At the end of the day Tuesday, we asked Carpenter about his Christmas wish. He thought of others before himself.

“Honestly, I just wish for other people not to be in my situation,” he said.

He expressed appreciation of those who help the homeless over the holidays.

“They continue to find it in their hearts to come out on holidays like this and spend their day with us, and provide us with food, provide us with drink, provide us with a place to be, because that has been a big, big help today, on this Christmas holiday,” Carpenter said.

St. Stephens opened at 9 a.m., which is different from other years when people had to wait outside before dinner was served.

Carpenter says, unfortunately, St. Stephens is on a short list of drop-in centers that were open Tuesday. There’s just not enough public funding, he says, to keep places open.

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