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Homeless advocacy group checking on those out in cold

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 05 2014 07:00:53 PM CST

Good reasons for braving Pueblo's cold snap. Joe Dominguez reports.

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Homeless outreach teams are using the bone-chilling temperatures as an opportunity to check on those who live outside across Pueblo.

"We're expecting people to mostly be in camps maybe around the campfire or under blankets and we just want to make sure they have food and everything they need to keep warm," said Ben Strand, a case manager for Posada

Posada is able to help homeless men, women and families find shelter on cold nights. The Salvation Army shelter helps single men while the Wayside Cross Gospel Mission helps single men and women without homes. Homeless families found living outdoors in Pueblo are also given shelter in a separate location.

Besides helping with supplies, Posada workers and volunteers are also checking on the health of homeless men and women. Frostbite is a common problem.

"We look for it on people's ears-- the top of their ears, the bottom of their ears and their nose," said Strand. "We've had cases over the years where they have to get all of their toes on their feet amputated because they got frostbite."

A registered nurse comes on those visits but Strand said you don't have to be a medical professional to recognize frostbite.

"It makes your skin black and you can smell it, too," said Strand.

Strand said one in four people they meet are in need of medical attention they either don't know it or can't get to a hospital.

Posada helps the homeless daily during regular business hours from their office at 225 Colorado Ave.

If you're not able to reach them during regular office hours, leaders suggest asking the police for help. The group has an agreement with the Pueblo Police Department to help the homeless who are asking for shelter until Posada opens its doors for business the next day.


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