When snow falls in the plains and the weather cools down, escaping the elements is a priority.
With COVID-19 this summer, some thermal shelters will stop working, but the effects could literally mean the difference between life and death.
“We see a lot of people dying to be completely honest,” said Robin Wood-Mason Delours Project, A homeless shelter for women and transgender people in Denver, Colorado.
During the winter, he said, the shelter could provide warmth for dozens of people every day. But at a time when there is a shortage of ordinary people and social distances, local health regulations have forced them to close their doors to heat shelters.
Wood-Mason said it was “heartbreaking” because the hot shelter could not open this winter. We are seeing thousands of people without shelter in Denver.
Other thermal shelters across the country are also being affected by COVID threats.
“When we realize that things are getting colder, things are getting smaller in our regions, and we know we are starting to move into those winter months,” said Andrea Carlson. American Red Cross.
She says the days are long gone when people gather in a large room to warm up. They are now following new COVID security protocols by placing people in multiple locations.
“You need to wear masks, you have to have some medical check-ups when you go to the heating center,” said Carlson.
With the onset of winter weather, and limited capacity means more people living abroad, the Delores project believes that more people will be exposed to extreme weather and the virus.
“We really see people getting sick,” he said. We are going to put a new burden on the hospital system and our first responders.