By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The coldest stretch of weather so far this winter has Minneapolis Police on high alert. The Minneapolis Police Department is working with its community partners to help people struggling to stay warm.

Members of the community response team are out and about with blankets, hats and gloves in an effort to protect people from the bitter blast.

When the coldest night of the year is predicted, members of Minneapolis Police’s Community Engagement team shift things into high gear. Sgt. Grant Snyder has spent this past year on the streets of Minneapolis.

WEB EXTRA: Cold Weather Resources

“This initiative is less than a year old working with our city’s homeless and vulnerable population,” Snyder said. “We always go out with a collection of hats and gloves and socks and things like that we want to makes sure that people have some way of covering themselves up tonight.”

Snapshots of his team and their work shows them handing out blankets, sleeping bags and hand warmers to people struggling to stay warm in the extreme cold.

“Our biggest concern is that they do get into shelters that they do have a place to stay,” Snyder said.

RELATED: Blizzard Warning: Strong Winds, Whiteout Conditions Expected In Western Minnesota

Synder works with community partners, like John Steger, Pastor of Grace in the City Church.

“We have some snacks that we want to pass out so they can have some nourishment we also have coffee we have five pots of coffee in here,” Steger said.

They not only ensure people’s safety and survival, they also help them get off the streets. The Hub, at 10th and Portland in downtown Minneapolis, is part of the solution. The Hub offers resources seven days a week, for 10 hours a day.

“That’s the biggest thing, is building trust, then people will want to get off the street and believe that you have a solution for them, which we do we have that solution for them,” Steger said. “We’re a resource center for people to come down to use the computers to look for jobs. If they need to look for jobs, check their emails, we’re going to talk to them about their faith. We want the solution for them, we want them to stop what they’re doing and not live in the streets anymore.”

Reg Chapman