Homeless Population Most Vulnerable During Unpredictable New England Winters

Jan 6, 2014

We’re in for a wild week in the weather department.  The forecast is for rain today with a high of 48. But by tomorrow the high will plunge into the teens.  One population that is most vulnerable during these cold snaps is the homeless.

In the course of a typical year, roughly five thousand Rhode Islanders seek the protection of a homeless shelter.  For obvious reasons, the number peaks in the coldest months of the year.   Jim Ryzcek, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless said there have been no significant problems sheltering the needy so far this season, but he’s bracing for a surge this month.

"We always do see a bump in the numbers coming into the shelter after the first of the year because holidays are over, good will goes so long and we do always see a bump around the first of the year," said Ryzcek.

Last week, during the height of the cold snap, homeless advocates drove around the state urging people to come in from the cold.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org