PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Sunday was an especially difficult day for people who work and live outside.
We talked to some of them to see how they’re coping.
The temperature Sunday morning was only 4 degrees. Anyone unprepared or overexposed is easily susceptible to frostbite.
“A lot of people find you can get cold injury in your boots, your grandmother would tell you to wear a hat and interestingly enough, we see frostbite on the head, as well,” said Dr. Rade Vukmir at Allegheny General Hospital.
Those who are most vulnerable are the city’s homeless. Some remained in tents under the Parkway East, near Second Avenue. But many took advantage of the Catholic Charities’ warming center, which opened early.
“They were ready to come in and get warm,” said Executive Dir. Susan Rauscher. “We had people who were chilled, they were shivering a little bit, so right away we gave them coffee to warm them up.”
Volunteers also passed out soup along with coats and gloves to those in need — acts of kindness that were greatly appreciated.
“Now I am actually homeless and I see the sufferings of all these people, what they go through just to survive a day and I tell what, I am blessed to be here and it’s a hard life,” said Pastor Joseph Constanza.
“It helps a lot, it’s very cold outside,” said Jeremy Hensel, who is homeless. “I appreciate what they do, they do help a lot of people.”
Unfortunately some people could not enjoy the benefits of warming centers in the community. Under these conditions, people are advised to stay dry and prevent skin from being exposed, if possible.
“There are people that are clearly disadvantaged,” said Vukmir. “There are people that work on the outside, there are elderly, there are pet exposures. It’s a time you want to look around your neighborhood, your environment and make sure everybody’s OK.”