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Sub-Freezing Temperatures Intensify Homeless Outreach

Two homeless men have been found dead amid freezing weather, and others have been treated for hypothermia. Houston police officers have been working to get homeless people to shelters as freezing temperatures continue.

Houston’s homeless outreach team has been coordinating with shelters to keep people out of the cold. Captain Bill Staney is commander of the Houston Police Department’s Mental Health Division.

“We’ve got areas along the downtown bayous and we’ve got several encampments that we have downtown. We’ve got a lot of people and we’ve offered them all a place, but we don’t get a lot of people who want to come out of those encampments right now. We keep trying.”

Captain Staney says there are about ten shelters, and some downtown churches are being used as warming centers. Homeless outreach teams continue their efforts, although some remote areas are harder to reach after dark. Citizens can call 311 for assistance.

“And MetroLift can come out and provide transportation, particularly those that they may be wheelchair-bound, that sort of thing. Plus patrol will be out throughout the night. So there’s lots of mechanisms to get people who want to go into a shelter.”

Overnight hard freezes and sub-freezing mornings in the Houston area are expected to continue until the weekend.

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