Philadelphia continues bringing in homeless from cold

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An empty bed is found underneath an overpass near the Walt Whitman Bridge. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

An empty bed is found underneath an overpass near the Walt Whitman Bridge. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

The bone-chilling cold has ciy officials worried about those living on the streets.  

Philadelphia outreach crews have been trying since Wednesday to bring chronically homeless people indoors.

City shelters are near capacity, and staffers have talked to another 480 people who are constantly on the street, said Liz Hersh, director of Philadelphia’s Office for Homeless Services says

“We’ve transported 68, and we’ve placed 172,” she said Friday. “And this is in the six total nights that we’ve had Code blue.”

The Code Blue designation occurs during extremely bitter cold conditions — when the temperature, wind chill and precipitation combined result in ‘real-feel’ temperatures near or below 20 degrees.

Mayor Jim Kenney said he’s concerned about those who refuse to come inside.

“I think people are a bit challenged when it comes to their mental health or their addiction and don’t know that they could be in harm’s way or freeze to death,” he said.

If you see someone in need of shelter from the cold, you can call 215-232-1984.

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