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Shelters see influx of homeless due to cold weather in US

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Shelters see influx of homeless due to cold weather in US​

Frigid weather hits everyone hard, but the homeless are typically hit the hardest.

By Cristian Sida
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 2:05 PM GMT+8

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Mother nature is reminding Grand Junction what winter is supposed to feel like, and those living on the streets struggle to find a place to escape it.

The cold weather is here, and the homeless population has nowhere to turn. Homeless shelters are at capacity. “We have the shelters full on any given night,” said Beverly Lampley with Grand Valley Homeless Coalition.

The coalition is composed of several organizations working together to address the issue of homelessness. Lampley knows the bone-chilling weather can be dangerous for folks, but there isn’t enough room in the shelters. “We’re having to turn people away, and this is when it gets dangerous,” said Lampley.

With no other options, those seeking refuge from the cold have no choice but to put up with mother nature. “Obviously, they don’t go to the park anymore, and they try to stay in one place,” said Lampley. “It is between buildings, in bushes and lots of camps.

The harsh cold shows mercy to no one. Last week in Colorado Springs, two homeless people died due to exposure to freezing temperatures. There haven’t been any reported deaths in Grand Junction due to the weather.

“I want to mention that every year around Christmas time, we have a National Homeless Memorial Day,” said Lampley. This year volunteers honored 16 lives lost and know that number is likely larger.

“I think we think about homeless in being out. We need to realize that could be any one of us and now more than ever before. That’s true,” said Lampley.

She’s talking about not enough affordable housing leaving people no choices in what’s become a deadly winter.

 

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