Homeless men and women face extra dangers in bitter cold

Doctors are warning people to stay indoors to wait out the bitter cold temperatures.

Those with no place to call home face the added challenge of surviving a tough winter on the streets.

Agencies throughout Michiana are stepping up to provide some cold weather relief to the homeless.

More than 250 people have walked into the Center for the Homeless seeking a warm place to sleep.

“The reality is if we have an opportunity to save someone’s life at moments like this - you have to do to do what you have to do,” said Steve Camilleri, executive director at the Center for the Homeless.

For teens like Ishiaai Johnson, the Center is a welcome respite from brutal conditions.

“Out there how the weather was…I wouldn’t survive,” Johnson said. “I wouldn’t survive at all. It’s too cold for me.”

Johnson is able to fall asleep each night knowing he will have a meal the next day.

“I just hope I get on my feet and do something with my life,” Johnson said.

Alphonse Palmer is a senior citizen with health problems and walked through the center doors for the very first time five days ago.

“Without this place I’m sure the death toll for South Bend would be much higher than what it is,” Palmer said.

The St. Joseph County coroner tells Newscenter 16 there have been no weather-related deaths so far this week. There have been five such deaths since December.

Hope Ministries and the YWCA are also offering weather amnesty.
The YWCA is open to women and children.

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