WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF) – It’s encouraging to know that various agencies have warming shelters and overnight facilities for the homeless in the frigid weather.
However, the Director of Project HOPE said not every homeless person is willing to go to a shelter.
It’s hard to imagine choosing to stay outside on a night when the temperature is one degree.
Crystal Bauer, Director of Project HOPE, said this year there are more individuals than ever—at least ten—who won’t go inside.
She said every year, Project HOPE treats cases of hypothermia, frostbite and a painful condition called trench foot.
For various reasons, these people suffer in the cold and can’t be convinced to go into a shelter.
We do have people who, regardless of how low the temperatures go, will remain outside. Those individuals are usually using some form of heat source to heat a tent. Typically it is a candle, which is a very effective way to heat a tent, but also a very effective way to burn down a tent.Crystal Bauer, Director, Project HOPE
Bauer doesn’t advise giving a homeless person a candle. She said hand warmers, foot warmers and gloves are safer.
Some homeless advocates do give them candles, but Bauer explained she has seen tents burn down and people get burned.
She said the best answer would be to go to a shelter on a frigid night.