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Finding shelter for Chicago's homeless in winter weather freeze of 13 below

These are shots of snow piled up at a north side Chicago neighborhood.
These are shots of snow piled up at a north side Chicago neighborhood.
(Shamontiel L. Vaughn)

Winter safety is on high alert in Chicago today, Jan. 6, while dealing with weather below 13 degrees and a chill factor as low as 37 below, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Center guesstimated that Chicago would receive up to 10 inches of snow. This is a snowpile by one of the parking lots.
(Shamontiel L. Vaughn)

On Tues., Jan. 7, the high will be 7 degrees with a wind chill of 35 below.

After braving the guesstimated 10 inches of snow this weekend, four Chicago residents have died while shoveling, according to the Sun Times.

While Chicagoans should continue to be careful when shoveling, make sure their homes are heated properly, be careful with space heaters and help the elderly when possible, another question is arising: How are Chicago's homeless being taken care of in this weather?

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has added one outreach team (two per shift) to direct staff to conduct street outreach and check on the homeless. According to a newsletter sent out by Ward 49's Alderman Joe Moore, shelter partners are prepared to add over 100 shelter beds as needed.

Community service centers and six senior centers will be extending their hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Warming centers include:

  • North Community Service Center at 848 W. Wilson
  • Northeast Senior Center at 2019 W. Lawrence
  • 24th District police station at 6464 N. Clark
  • Loyola Park Fieldhouse at 1230 W. Greenleaf
  • Warren Park Fieldhouse at 6601 N. Western
  • Rogers Park Public Library branch at 6907 N. Clark (open today, Jan. 6, from noon until 8 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Englewood Center, 1140 W. 79th Street
  • Garfield Center, 10 S. Kedzie Avenue
  • King Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove
  • South Chicago, 8650 S. Commercial Avenue
  • Trina Davila, 4357 W. Armitage Avenue

Police stations are open 24 hours a day. The Park District facilities are open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Huffington Post reports that Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will be handing out fare cards to social service agencies to be distributed to the homeless so they can ride buses and trains for warmth.

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