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Protecting the Escambia's homeless from the cold
With temperatures expected in the teens in Northwest Florida, the risks of hypothermia and frostbite are high.
Rob brown is covering the chill in Okaloosa County.
But first Jenise Fernandez from Escambia County with the dangers of the cold.
It doesn't matter how many layers I put on, I can't seem to get warm.
There is a reason why you're better off staying inside.
When the temperature drops like this, it can be especially dangerous for the homeless.
Just off of the train tracks, deep in a wooded area is Robert Mitchell's home.
This is where he lives, with his dog, Saco, in a tent made out of sheets and no electricity.
It's not an ideal location, especially on a night like this.
"I was afraid of the rain and stuff. It's hard to stay dry and warm at the same time," said Mitchell.
It's situations like this that prompted Cathy Harris with "Streets and Lanes" ministries to help the homeless.
She ventures out into the woods, delivering things like sleeping bags, blankets, gloves, and candles.
"When I first started working for the homeless, I heard about a man who froze to death here in the Panhandle because he didn't have enough to keep him warm," she said.
Harris wants to make sure that never happens again.
She says, most of the homeless who camp out won't go to shelters.
On Monday, they helped about 100 homeless people around Escambia County.
"I don't have any income. I don't get a check. So my income is at zero. My only income is food stamps right now. So having these things provided takes a lot of stress off of me," said Deborah Carnley.
The mission will continue to bring survival items as long as the temperatures stay this extreme.
"We are human too. It's a wonderful blessing to have this here," added Mitchell.
And if the temperatures get even more extreme, Harris says they will transport homeless living in the camps to area shelters.
Jenise Fernandez, Channel 3 news.