The Below Zero Spell (Jan 28, 2020)

Finally the weather broke reducing the need for our neighbors outside to call for emergency help. One new couple went to the woods in Sartell and needed sleeping bags. And one woman left the woods in town and doubled up in a friends apartment. One woman and disabled son living in her car needed gas to stay warm, as did another man also living in his car. We distributed six 20 lb tanks of propane, and 11 gas cards this week, gas cards were for both for heating and reimbursements for those giving rides. The warmer weather also allowed us to resume the furniture program and we had six pickups and 11 deliveries. We had a table at Side Street on the SCSU campus and were given caps and gloves by Capital One and socks, personal care kits and a sleeping bag by Socks for the Soul, there. I had a meeting with HRA establishing criteria for verification of homelessness for those on the street.

HHH is now authorized to do this. We participated in the PIT count at the Salvation Army and library with many of our members assisting. The community continued their generous support with Bethleham Luthern donating scarves and hats, Catholic Workers hot food and numerous individuals contributing funds, food, gift cards, furniture,household items and volunteer time. Thank you all. We are in need of beds, dressers, and pots and pans. On the challenging side our folks have been hit with an outbreak of influenza A. Many are going to ER. A group of 8 people who have been doubled up have been ordered to leave by Wednesday by a new landlord. Two of them are suffering from frostbite from their last stay outside. We are looking for warm places for them. I hope I don’t gross you out, but I want to show you how serious frostbite is and why we work so hard to find warm places to go. This woman got frostbite two weeks ago in Saint Cloud during that below zero spell. She has been treated and released by the hospital and is healing well . It is still very painful however. This is what it looked like yesterday . What frostbite looks like in two weeks.