Homeless Battle the Cold - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Homeless Battle the Cold

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The cold and snow will be a problem for more than just drivers; the homeless are especially vulnerable, and area homeless shelters are now nearly 30 people over capacity.

With an unemployment rate well below the national average, Fargo-Moorhead is an attractive place to be for looking for a job, but the harsh winter conditions are not kind to the homeless.

"Churches United for the Homeless" shelter operations director John Roberts says his staff often discuss the dangers of frostbite with the people who stay at their shelter. The frigid temps present many challenges, especially for people arriving from warmer climates like California, Florida, or Texas.

"I asked them if [...] they had jackets, boots, so on," Roberts told Valley News Live. "'Oh yeah,' [they'd reply], 'I've got a jacket,' and I said, 'No, that's a hoodie.'"

Some locals might find that funny, but seeing homeless arrive with frostbite is no laughing matter for shelter staff, as Roberts explains: "It's those folks who've been outside before we've been able to assist them that I'm concerned about. [...] Nobody leaves this place without being outfitted."

That's why homeless shelters like Churches United do anything they can to help, providing proper clothing through community donations, and keep their doors open year-round.


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