Winter weather hurts local homeless
JOPLIN, Mo. — Norma Pickett has been homeless off and on for the past three years and knows, more than most, what it means to be cold and scared.
“It’s very hard especially living out on the streets being a female and not really having no place to go. I have hid behind trash cans and stuff to try block wind off me and everything,” said Pickett.
Winter is a difficult season to get through for Pickett and others like her, with dropping temperatures making life even tougher.
“On real cold days when you ain’t got a place to go, it’s very hard. Especially if you don’t have a good heavy coat or like Soul’s Harbor to come to,” explained Pickett.
Local shelters like Souls Harbor and Watered Gardens both make an extra effort to help the homeless during these bitter, cold days where frostbite and hypothermia are a concern, passing out blankets and scarves, and sometimes even extending their hours.
“When the temperatures drop in the single-digit wind chills, we think that’s just too dangerous for anybody to be out in, and so our foyer doors will remain open for anybody who needs to step in out of the cold,” explained James Whitford, Executive Director of Watered Gardens.
Both Souls Harbor and Watered Gardens are always in need of warm items like gloves and coats, to keep people protected from the elements.
“If it wasn’t for the donations that we get in, they couldn’t help us to stay warm and stuff, and the blankets that has been donated really helps because they can give them out to people that can’t get in here because we’re full or something. So, they can always help people,” said Pickett.
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