Cold weather creates overcrowding in shelters

Jan 25, 2013

We’re about to get a slight break from the Arctic cold we’ve been enduring.  Until then, Rhode Island area shelters are bursting at the seams as the homeless seek shelter from single digit temperatures. 

Snowfall in downtown Providence
Credit Aaron Read
"...when you have 40 people who don't know each other living in one room on the floor.... They're uncomfortable, they're cold."

Karen Santilli, a spokeswoman for Crossroads Rhode Island, says they’ve had more than two dozen people sleeping on mats on the floor these past few nights.
"It’s pretty bad because it’s not a respectful way to live. We have security on staff to try to make the conditions as safe as possible. We have 24 hour a day security but you know when you have 40 people who don’t know each other living in one room on the floor…. They’re uncomfortable, they’re cold. It can get pretty difficult for some people."
Crossroads, which typically closes for a couple of hours a day for cleaning, is staying open 24 hours a day during the cold snap.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will warm into the 20’s Friday .. with temps warming into the 30’s by Monday. On Tuesday the temperature is forecast to be in the low 40’s.

But National Weather Service  meteorologist Alan Dunham says cold weather will return the middle of next week.
"Once we get through the quote ‘warmer’ temperatures we’ll be going through mid week but then we’ll be getting a cold front through and we’ll go back to colder air again for Thursday, Friday and beyond. I don’t anticipate it being as cold as we’ve had yesterday, today and tonight but it’ll be back to slightly below normal."

We continue to luck out in the snow department. Only a light dusting of dry snow is forecast for Friday night.  
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