Shelters Busy as Cold Weather Blankets the Twin Cities

February 20, 2018 03:00 PM

As subzero temperatures settle in over the Twin Cities, local authorities and social service providers are warning people about the danger of long exposure in the cold.

Volunteers spent Saturday on the streets in downtown Minneapolis helping the homeless who need a warm place to stay.


RELATED: Subzero Wind Chills Expected Through the Weekend

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo thanked his officers Saturday morning for their service during the cold weekend.

"As our state and city face extremely dangerous cold temperatures with negative wind chill readings over the next few days, please make sure to keep a watchful and caring eye towards our vulnerable community members who may be outside and not properly clothed for these temperatures," Arradondo wrote in a message to them.

As shelters began to fill up, other programs across the city began to help.

RELATED: During Cold Weather, Light Rail Trains Used by Homeless for Warmth

Youthlink, a nonprofit that serves young people ages 16-24, opened its doors to serve as a 24-hour warming station through New Year's Day.

Executive director Heather Huseby described the frigid weekend as a crisis.

"We fill a gap tonight for those young people who have no place to stay," Huseby said. "We know they are either living on the trains and buses or they are staying outside."

In addition to a hot meal, Huseby said Youthlink provides people with a warm meal and cold-weather clothing.

The subzero weather also kept heating and cooling technicians busy over the weekend.

Mike Davis, who has worked with Standard Heating for 14 years, made a dozen house calls on Saturday.

"A lot of people panic when their furnace goes out on a day like this," Davis said while checking a furnace filter in a home in Woodbury. "The problems really show up when it gets really cold and that's when [homeowners] actually start noticing it."


Kirsten Swanson

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