RICHMOND (WRIC)—Many people are out there braving the cold temperatures, some by force and some by choice.
By the time the sun set Monday evening, reality also set in. Some people were walking around Richmond with their entire faces covered; others got a beating from the wind. One family drove around Richmond, searching for homeless people it could give extra clothing to.
"We ran across one guy by VCU," said Lee Cauthorne. "He had plenty of clothes, but he wanted something to eat. So, we went to Hardee's and bought him two hot dogs and a cup of coffee, and he appreciated that."
By the end of dinnertime, the Salvation Army feeding center on West Grace Street had fed more than 100 homeless people—way above average for this time of the month.
Homeless shelters were preparing for a busy night on Monday, but one homeless man was avoiding the shelters, because he says they are too crowded.
"If I get cold, I start walking," said the man, "Mr. Regie." "If I get tired, I'll sit down for a few minutes, then I'll start walking again."
When the weather gets this brutal, there's another danger that lies inside your house—space heaters.
Just a few weeks ago, a mobile home on Jefferson Davis Highway went up in flames; a woman inside who was sleeping on the couch was lucky to get out alive.
"Most of the time what we see is that people put [space heaters] too close to combustible items," said Lieutenant Jason Elmore of Chesterfield Fire & EMS. "They may put them too close their curtains; they may put them too close to their sofas. They need to be at least three feet away from any other type of combustible item."
As you try to take care of yourself and your loved ones in this bitter cold, remember to also check up on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly or disabled.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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