GREENSBORO, N.C. - For all of 2018 so far, it's been below freezing across the Triad. The frigid weather can be miserable to deal with. Despite the cold, there were many good deeds, warming hearts and changing lives.
With the temperatures so low, frostbite can easily sets in - in just over thirty minutes if you're outside, exposed. It's something those experiencing homelessness face often during the winter months, but especially this week.
Fortunately, there are teams like StreetWatch in Greensboro, looking out for the homeless. It's been around since 2008, forming connections with those out on the streets and convincing them to come indoors when temperatures drop.
“We're riding around looking for people who are walking around, who look cold and don't even have a coat on,” said Yvonne Greene, with StreetWatch, “It's usually the same conversation - you really need to be inside, are you going to the IRC, and if they say no - we really try to encourage that.”
Along with that outreach, the team constantly moves donations from this storage unit to shelters. They're giving out blankets, coats, hats and gloves. Because it's so cold, the team is also going to warming centers.
“We want to develop relationships with them so they know that someone really truly cares about them, and values them,” said Audrie Keen with Streetwatch.
Triad Goodwill has also seen their fair share of warmth. Managers say clothing donations at the North Elm Street location are up, a third more than they normally see in a week. Once dropped off - the items get sorted and tagged by people like Leslie Murphy, who knows her work goes a long way.
“You feel pretty good knowing that you're helping somebody,” she said, “Because I know what it feels like to be cold."
Since this last cold blast started in the Triad, Project Warmth in Greensboro keeps seeing good number of donations, even without the fence to pin the donations on. Last week, we told you the 16 Cents Ministry was seeking out a place to put out donations after their fence was taken down. The ministry has several leads on a replacement location but already, around 120 coats were donated - and 50 or so distributed out to those in need.
Monetary donations to StreetWatch can be sent to PO Box 702, Summerfield, NC.
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