Another Brutal One (Jan 21, 2020)

This week was another brutal one for the homeless in Saint Cloud. It was bad enough that the temperatures were below zero and we had another bout of snow, but then the wind arrived viciously assaulting all our neighbors outside. It brutally attacked those seeking shelter on stairwells and in parking ramps. It sucked the gas out of those in cars. It made a mockery out of attempts to heat the tents our people are living in. Tarps were ripped off of camping shelters , leaving residents exposed to 25 below windchill. In my rounds I checked on one man whose tent was in a shambles. Tarps scattered through the woods, nothing was left of it but screen. In the corner of the rubble was a heap of unrolled sleeping bags covered in snow. I apprehensively approached the site wary of what I might find and called out his name. A slight movement. I called again a voice responded and unbelievably a head pushed out. He was alive…. As I was shivering almost uncontrollably despite wearing long johns, several layers and a heavy coat, I couldn’t imagine what he endured during the night. It didn’t take much convincing to get him to leave with me for someplace warm. Thanks to all of you for your help in providing warmth and life to our friends. Since December 28 when this cold spell started we have tended to 42 folks in crisis because of the cold. 4 were placed in private homes, 3 sheltered out of town, 5 in motels, 6 left on street, 3 to hospital, 3 left in woods, 4 to Salvation Army, 9 to Place of Hope, 3 left in cars, 1 to Cummings, 1 left in jail entryway. We hope it warms up soon.

Tent blown away by snow storm.