Helping the homeless survive the cold

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Many don’t like the forecast. But for some, it poses a real health danger.

10 On Your Side’s Stephanie Harris talked to a homeless couple about what its like and how their city is reaching out to help.

“We woke up this morning and it was like, Hello! It just — BOOM — kicked us right in the face,” Matt Dutton said about the weather.

He and husband, Caleb Lowrence, were on their way to the library when WAVY News caught up with them. The couple stays there to keep warm until closing time.

“Oh my gosh, we have so many blankets, but that’s not enough,” Lowrence told WAVY.com. “We’re trying to make it.”

They are not alone.

Norfolk’s Office to End Homelessness reports on any given night, there are upwards of 400 people who seek shelter in the city and several who don’t. They are the big concern right now. Stephanie asked Office to End Homelessness Director Michael Wasserberg about that.

“There are some souls out there that really want to try to tough it out, and that’s where our street outreach team comes in,” he said.

Wasserberg told us the city sends out search teams who know the hiding spots where the homeless often hole up.

“We look to find them, provide them with winter wear and other materials they’ll need to survive this, because our goal is to make sure everyone is safe.”

No matter how hard they try, or how low the temperatures go, no one can force the homeless to come inside. Lowrence made that clear.

“If he feels comfortable, then we’ll do it.”

If you’d like to volunteer or pass along information to someone who might need it, the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline has shelter information for all the cities. They can be reached at 757-587-4202.

Those who need shelter can also contact the Norfolk Cares Call Center at 757-664-6510 to be connected with the appropriate resources. You can find more information here.