Freezing temperatures dangerous for Duluth's homeless

By KBJR News 1

January 4, 2014 Updated Jan 4, 2014 at 11:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- With temperatures steadily dropping, one Duluth community organization is taking action to protect people who may not have a warm place to sleep.

"The key is to wear additional layers of clothing and keeping covered and having good head gear a lot of our heat is lost off of our head," said Andy Krubsack, Assistant Head Nurse at Essentia Health.

Regardless of how prepared you are, for some it is almost impossible to get out of the cold.

"Homelessness is a growing problem. The street outreach team is in contact with at least two people who are suffering such severe frostbite that they may be facing amputation, this is very serious people should not be sleeping outside we need to get them in from the cold," said Joel Kilgore, member of Loaves and Fishes.

Homeless activist groups in Duluth have started a street outreach team to connect with people who may need a warm place to sleep. Members say they have taken in more people during this cold snap.

"We actually have people sleeping on the floor and in the laundry room at the Dorathy Day house so we are putting people where ever we can find a spot," said Kilgore.

He says they estimated about 200 people living outside in the city of Duluth. While most people who were living at this camp have found a warm place to stay, there are still people who are left out in cold.

"They are using whatever resources they have this time of year, family, friends, some of them going into shelter but there are still people living outside," said Kilgore.

Outreach members are encouraging the community to help them connect with people who may be homeless.

"If you see people living outside or if you are out walking your dog and see a tent in the woods please call us on our hotline so we can make contact with them," said Kilgore.

To contact the street outreach 24-hour hotline call 218-461-8505.

The street outreach team is in need of adult warm winter boots of all sizes, hand and foot warmers, and solar or crank flashlights. Donations can be left at CHUM (102 W 2nd Street) from 9am-6pm Monday-Friday, or Loaves & Fishes (1712 Jefferson Street) from 9am and 9pm every day.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.