Community and Authorities Help the Homeless During Freezing Temp - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Community and Authorities Help the Homeless During Freezing Temps

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A MECCA 911 employee places a blanket on a homeless man at the Woodburn Elementary School warming shelter. A MECCA 911 employee places a blanket on a homeless man at the Woodburn Elementary School warming shelter.
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MORGANTOWN -

With the temperatures continuing to be at dangerous lows, and the wind chill making it feel like it's even colder outside, the community was very worried about the homeless population.

"Bartlett House in no way serves every person that's experiencing homelessness," said Kari DeMasi, the Executive Director at Bartlett House. "That being said, there are a lot of people that are out on the streets, that are unsheltered. With the weather being so extreme, and the elements being so extreme there's always the chance of frostbite. And in some cases even death."

Police even did what they could to make sure the community, including the homeless, were safe during the cold spell.

"Very cold. Had a lot of disabled cars, batteries dying, that kind of stuff relating to the weather," said Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston. "And we kept check on places, like under bridges, and places where a lot of the homeless people will go or hang out at, just to make sure we didn't have any health issues."

Local community members donated dozens of blankets, socks and coats to the warming shelter and the Bartlett House to help out.

"Some people don't have a home they have to find shelter and if they can't find shelter they need something to keep them warm, with frost bite and you know, it's just sad. It just breaks your heart," said Melissa Marks, who helped collect and distribute the blankets to the homeless community. "And we found it important that, it's our community, we live here, and this is our town. We should take care of our town."

There were also volunteers from Health Right and the Bartlett House that took to the streets to help persuade people to come into the shelters for the night.

"Specifically looking for people and knowing where they typically sleep or live, trying to get them to come in, coax them in out of the elements," DeMasi said. "And I know one person in particular we were able to get to come in and she stayed and is still here with us today."

There are several places that stayed open late Tuesday for the homeless, and people that do not have power, can go to get warm.