‘They would probably freeze to death’: Homeless man shares survival story and resources that helped him

Helping homeless people survive in the bitter cold

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With frigid temperatures blasting across our area, helping homeless people stay warm during dangerously cold temperatures is at the top of the list for one local organization.

News10NBC spoke with a homeless man who shared his experience dealing with the cold before connecting with this organization.

Person Centered Housing Options’ (PCHO) outreach team goes out into the streets and connects with one of the most vulnerable populations, the homeless.

Theodore Warren spoke to News10NBC about being homeless and how he endured dangerously cold weather. He says he doesn’t know where he would be were if not for organizations such as PCHO.

“They would probably freeze to death in this frigid weather that we have here,” he said.

Warren says this is deadly weather for those who are homeless. He has spent many days and nights living in the streets trying to survive the extreme cold.

“Like where the forensics office is — there’s that blower right there, it shoots out hear. I used to go there,” he said. “The Hall of Justice; there’s a fan that blows heat. I used to stand there and keep warm to.”

Theodore says the streets were his home for six months before he connected with PCHO at the library through Open Door Mission. He now lives at the Peace Village shelter on Broad Street and says PCHO saved his life.

“They’ve been doing everything they can to keep me comfortable — make sure that I am fed, clothed, whatever I needed, they were there for me,” he said.

Lisa Schulz, the program manager for outreach at PCHO, says the outreach team establishes a relationship with homeless individuals, then connects them with resources to get them in housing.

“Through housing, permanent supportive housing, sometimes just into a shelter, sometimes into treatment, sometimes into mental health treatment. It depends on the path the client would like to go down, and we really are person-centered,” Schulz said.

Theodore Warren says perseverance and patience are what gets him through — and believing there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Even though it’s frigid out here, you know, I am still alive,” he said. “You know, that’s the most important thing, and I still got tomorrow to look forward to and to keep moving forward in the process so I can have my own roof over my head.”

Theodore says PCHO will settle him in his own place in the coming months.

PCHO offers many resources for the homeless, from clothing to mental health treatment to Code Blue shelter. For more information, click here.