Area Homeless In The Cold

Monday, December 4th 2006, 2:52 pm
By: News On 6

The bitter cold is blamed for the death of one homeless man over the weekend, and a shelter says another homeless man had to be taken to the hospital with frostbite. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says shelter workers are out looking for people who might be in trouble in the cold night.

They're moving chairs and putting down extra sleeping mats in the chapel, ever since the cold spell started last week, they've been full.

"We've been able to have a full house here, and I know all the other shelters are full. We've even had people sitting in our front lobby where we don't even have any mats or beds for them, just someplace to get in out of the cold," said David Ganzert with the John 3:16 Mission. "Even when we're closed, we've just gone ahead and opened up our doors to make sure that people could get inside, get warm, and get dry."

Mission worker David Ganzert says when the weather gets dangerously cold, they try to keep track of their regulars, and if they're not around, some of their friends or sometimes the mission workers will go looking for them in their usual spots to make sure they're alright.

They're hoping to avoid what happened over the weekend when a man was found dead from the cold in a dumpster.

"It makes you very sad to hear that somebody's in trouble or in that kind of trouble or even died," said Ganzert. "Doesn't have to happen."

Friends brought in one man, but he's not here now. He was taken to the hospital.

"We've seen people in various stages of hypothermia actually," Ganzert said. "He was found up under a bridge actually, and some of the other homeless fellas found him and brought him down here to get him inside."

John 3:16 officials say it's gotten so busy they have had to turn some people away, but they say with all the agencies out there, there should be a place for everyone who needs one.