DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Since Saturday, specialists with Miami Valley Housing Opportunities have been out canvassing known homeless sites, doing welfare checks during the polar vortex.
They looked for anyone who was unsheltered, gave them food, winter gear, and eventually, try to find options to get them out of the sub-zero temperatures.
“We’ve been going out at night, we’ve been doing a lot of things that we wouldn’t normally do if the weather wasn’t so extreme,” said MVHO’s homeless outreach director, Andrea McGriff.
While a number of warming centers or homeless shelters were open throughout the Miami Valley, McGriff said there is a number of reasons someone opts to stay outside.
“They don’t want to have their stuff stolen or they don’t want to leave their things,” said McGriff. “Everything they have is in here and they don’t want to leave it to go to a shelter.”
The homeless who choose to brave the conditions typically have techniques to keep them safe, at one site, the couple who lived there fashioned a milk jug and PVC pipe together to exhaust their propane heater.
But McGriff said this interaction is often the only one they have with social services, so the friendship formed could be the first step to finding permanent housing.
McGriff encouraged anyone in the Miami Valley who knows or sees a homeless person not accessing shelter, to give them a call at 937-263-4449.
For more information about MVHO, click here.