Cold conditions are upon us. How do the homeless survive in freezing conditions?

News 10 spoke to people who are homeless in the community to see how they're staying warm and surviving the cold.

Posted: Nov 17, 2019 10:25 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)--Some can escape the winter-like weather by going into a warm home.

But for people who are homeless, some are left with few options.

We spoke with people at the Saint Benedict Soup Kitchen.

One man News 10 spoke to said last winter was one of the worst he's ever experienced.

He wanted to remain anonymous.

"It's real scary trying to figure out how to go at it. I woke up knowing it was time to get up but I couldn't move. I was literally that close to freezing."

We learned people try to find tents to sleep in.

One man told said it takes several blankets for him to get warm.

Some find shelter in abandoned homes.

Others may have to find warmth on stairwells or in the city parks.

"You know there's times that you can go to sleep and you worry that you'll lose one of your limbs. It don't matter how many layers you put on if you don't have ones that are windproof and stuff like that."

Vigo County Commissioner Brendan Kearns said many are working on a plan.

"Our one primary goal right now and that's to get the warming plan in place for extreme cold weather days," said Kearns. 

He said there are a couple of hundred people who're sleeping outside.

The warming plan would go into effect for sub-zero weather.

Kearns says right now there are several locations dedicated to housing.

Volunteers there will provide food and mental health care to folks while they're getting warm.

Kearns said it's going to take everyone to fix the problem.

"They want to be in a place where they can relax and not have to worry about where they're going. We recognize the need and there's a lot of people doing what they can and the best that they can to help," said Kearns. 

Kearns says there is a loose warming plan system in place right now.

He hopes to have a final, refined program within the next few weeks.

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