Chicago is experiencing extremely cold temperatures this winter season, causing the city to take appropriate measures to keep the homeless safe during the ‘life-threatening’ cold.
According to The Weather Channel, the weather will be 2 F on Thursday, with a wind chill warning until noon. The City of Chicago and other non-profit organizations are working actively to keep the 5,600 homeless population safe and warm during the cold by providing warming centers and city buses to those in need.
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“[We’re] just trying to get them not to freeze to death,” Nancy Powers, who works with the Salvation Army.
“In this weather, believe it or not, at 20 degrees below zero, there are some folks who are still going to stay put,” she told FOX 32 in Chicago.
The Salvation Army has mobile feeding and homeless outreach groups throughout Chicago to help those in need. They also plan to feed those who are utilizing CTA’s warming buses and use their community centers as warming centers during business hours.
The National Weather Service of Chicago has warned residents to limit their time outside while the cold is moving in. Six regional community centers are functioning as warming centers, and out of the total, two will be open 24-hours.
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“There definitely is a large amount of people who will go and seek shelter, but we have to remember the people who will just not go inside,” co-founder of ChiGivesBack, Sandi Robinson said to environmental news website, Earther. “Our main focus is for the people who don’t want to go inside, to make sure that they have everything they need to survive outside because what we’re receiving in Chicago are [temperatures] I’ve never experienced in my lifetime.”
Meanwhile, while Chicagoans are dealing with the frigid cold weather, a photo of inmates from Chicago’s Cook jail shoveling snow, with just orange jumpsuits on, has gone viral and is receiving backlash.
A spokeswoman for Cook County’s sheriff’s department told The Chicago Tribune that the inmates had on insulated jumpsuits, gloves and boots. A warming van was also accessible for the inmates as well.