Crews attempt to bring hundreds of homeless out of the cold - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crews attempt to bring hundreds of homeless out of the cold

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A meeting was held Monday to make sure all the city's vulnerable knew how and where to escape the cold. A meeting was held Monday to make sure all the city's vulnerable knew how and where to escape the cold.
On any given day Katie Kitchen with the Community Alliance for the Homeless Population says there are 1,800 homeless on the streets. On any given day Katie Kitchen with the Community Alliance for the Homeless Population says there are 1,800 homeless on the streets.

(WMC-TV) - With some of the coldest weather Memphis has seen in decades, city leaders are meeting to make sure residents know how to warm up.

Fire Services Director Alvin Benson is heading up Memphis' cold weather plan, which is in full effect. A meeting was held Monday to make sure all the city's vulnerable knew how and where to escape the cold.

"It can lead initially to confusion. Twenty to 30 minutes is the point you can start to see frost bite."

On any given day Katie Kitchen with the Community Alliance for the Homeless Population says there are 1,800 homeless on the streets. She says of those about 200 people will remain on the streets during this cold weather and those are the people these outreach team members are trying to reach.

"Make sure people are aware of the risks and that we have additional resources. Maybe people think they know everything out there when new resources have been made available," said Kitchen.

Daytime warming centers in just about all city buildings and several centers will remain open all Monday night to keep people warm when it is coldest. Outreach crews, which during the day include many city employees, are also passing out coats, blankets, and hats.

"Firefighters are going to be paying attention, police officers are roving the streets paying attention. If we see somebody in need of help we are going to stop by and see if they need any help," said Benson.

Although it is not just people out in the elements who worry Benson but also those in homes without proper heat.

"Pay attention if you haven't seen somebody in the last day or go knock on their door. Check them out a little bit," said Benson.

City leaders say this cold weather plan will definitely be in effect the rest of Monday and Tuesday,

From there, the cold weather leadership group will evaluate the temperatures to determine if the plan needs to remain in effect.

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