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Volunteers take to the streets to help homeless in dangerously cold weather

Published: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 @ 6:02 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

Volunteers took to the streets to help get people in need out of dangerously cold weather.

Homelessness can be dangerous any time of the year, but with temperatures as low as they are now, made worse by wind chills, there is concern the homeless could be harmed, or even killed, from exposure to the elements.

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“If you don’t have hats, gloves, and stuff like that in the night, man ... you’re in big trouble,” said one homeless man. He didn’t want to be identified but said it’s a daily struggle to survive in these conditions, especially when he can’t make it to an area shelter.

“The shelter we have here is so far away. It’s way over on Gettysburg Avenue. If you got bus fare you can make it over there but you have to be there at 7:30 (p.m.),” he said.

This is where the Path program steps in.

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“It’s very cold so we want to make sure people aren’t dying out here while they are sleeping in tents or in abandoned houses or things like that,” Healther Wilson, Path outreach specialist said. “We want to make sure that they are being fed and able to stay warm.”

The Path program helps more than 200 people who are homeless in the area.

Angel Barger and other outreach specialists go out every day searching for people who don’t have a place to stay. They either try to get them to go to a shelter, or give them supplies to help them through the cold. They went to an area where they heard someone might be braving the winter weather with a small tent.

“Today, we actually did locate them in there. There are two people, we provided them with some blankets, and talked with them a little bit about the services we provide,” Barger said. “And we will come back out here and check on them.

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“A lot of them already have pre-existing conditions. Those are worsened by the cold weather ... the inability to get to teh meal sites so they can get proper nutrition,” she said.

Anyone in need of their services can go to Miami Valley Housing Services at 907 W. Fifth St., in Dayton.

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