Homeless try to stay warm as temperatures drop
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - On this cold and getting colder Monday in San Rafael, an 11-year-old girl.and her father, were handing out spare supplies they had at home. They wee giving them to those with no place to live.
"Gloves, a fluffy blanket and another fluffy blanket," described 11-year-old Isabella Salvador.
"We've got all these blankets at home, might as well give them to someone who can use them" said her father Rod Salvador.
"It's a really cool experience for me. I just like being nice," said Isabella.
A block away police officers were also handing out blankets.
"You look kind of cold. Would you like blanket?," asked San Rafael police Sgt. Scott Eberle.
The man accepted the blanket but said he wasn't where he would sleep tonight.
"Aw man, it makes all the difference," he said of the blanket.
"They're out here sometimes in just a jacket and jeans, sleeping on cardboard. So anything will help," said Eberle.
Police said they can't force people to go to shelters.
But with temperatures dipping down below freezing they are concerned about the city's growing chronic homeless population.
"We don't anyone to freeze to death. People may think we are out here to just enforce the law. We are also making sure people are safe," said Eberle.
Monday night was expected to be colder than Sunday night .And Sunday night was pretty bad, even for those with years of experience being homeless.
One woman said she slept in a cardbard box inside the post office.. Yet it was still brutally cold.
"It's not great. It just goes through your bones. You can never get warm," said Kristin Vanseoy.
While the city said there were enough shelter beds for anyone who needs one, some just prefer to brave the elements.
"I don't want to get bugs. I don't want t get sick," said Vanseoy
"I slept in my car. It was cold. It was really really cold last night," said Toni Vazquez
In San Francisco, shelter hours were extended and more shelters were opening.
"If we are not open now it would be dangerous and I think our clients would survive this weather," said Paciana Ashton of the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center.
Outreach teams went out trying to convince people to sleep indoors.