Survival on the Winter Streets

Snow

Providing shelter matters. That is particularly true in the recent frigid weather. CCO staff work even harder during the colder season to make sure more people are safe and indoors. In the evenings and early mornings, helpers are out distributing blankets and mats, encouraging folks to come inside, distributing HotHands to fend off frostbite, and providing other practical help.
Join us in our efforts to see our homeless brother and sisters through this cold season. Volunteer or donate today! Thank you!

Take a moment to read what Archie had to say about trying to survive on the winter streets…

“First, you have to find a lot of blankets; at least 5 or 6, but 10 or 12 would be better. Try to keep them dry. Put on all your clothes, one layer on top of another. Find a place where the wind isn’t blowing too much, like a spot against a wall. Look for a hospital with warm air vents. And if it’s raining or snowing put some cardboard under you and get some shelter over you, like an awning or overhanging. Find some more people trying to survive, because you’ll stay warmer together. Take off your wet socks and anything else that’s wet or else you’ll freeze or get frostbite. Wrap up in all your blankets and put some over your head. You don’t worry about breathing because you’re so cold. The trick is to keep the air out.

If you can get a transit pass, your best bet is to ride the train. Try to find someone else to ride with you so one of you can sleep and one of you can watch your stuff. Keep your stuff on the inside seat and sit next to it. Get off the train before the end of the line so they don’t know you’re homeless or they’ll kick you off the next time you get on. Try to go unnoticed and switch trains so you can ride all night. It sounds crazy, I know, but you can do it, even when it’s below zero outside. You can make it.”

– Archie

Consider making a donation that will provide a safe shelter space, warm meals, clothing essentials, and supportive services, to the men and women brought in from the cold by our Outreach Workers. Thank you! 

 

CCO’s Response to Sub-Zero Temperatures

Outreach Van

Chicago is experiencing record-breaking cold weather conditions. In the early mornings and evenings outreach staff continue to visit the viaducts, loading docks, and underpasses in our area to get our homeless friends living on the streets inside and out of danger. As always, CCO has remained open and outreach workers will be working throughout the sub-zero temperatures.

CCO believes that affordable housing is a human right. Until housing is secured people should be offered safe, warm shelter, nutritious meals and services that can stabilize their lives and promote a brighter future.

Take a moment to read Archie’s, “Recipe for Survival on the Winter Streets.”

Learn more about CCO’s efforts to bring in those living on the streets.

Be a part of the search and rescue efforts, consider making a donation toward CCO’s Outreach work today.

Thank you!

20 Below Wind Chills – CCO’s Response

CCO Warming Center

“King” escaping deadly cold and welcomed into CCO Warming Center.

CCO’s Extreme Cold Search & Rescue

“Thank you for bringing me in. If you hadn’t, I think my hands would have gotten frostbite.”

-“King”
The cold weather is inconvenient for us all but for homeless people, especially those living outside, it can be deadly. Each winter CCO responds to the cold weather by welcoming our friends on the street into a warm, dry space. Sandy Ramsey, CCO Executive Director, and Jeremy Nicholls, CCO Outreach Worker, searches the local viaducts, loading docks, and under passes to bring in those living outside in dangerous weather. Many are rescued from the frigid conditions by these late night search and rescue operations.

CCO Outreach

CCO Outreach Working encouraging someone to come in from the cold.

CCO Outreach

CCO Outreach Worker asking someone to come into the Warming Center.

CCO Outreach

One of several people who came into the Warming Center at CCO during the deadly cold.

Evening runs are a part of CCO life. Click here to read about Driving Through the Blowing Snow.