City working to find beds for 1,300 homeless as bitter cold thre - KMOV.com

City working to find beds for 1,300 homeless as bitter cold threatens lives

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The City of St. Louis is trying to find safe shelter for the nearly 1,300 homeless in the city. (Credit: KMOV) The City of St. Louis is trying to find safe shelter for the nearly 1,300 homeless in the city. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The bone chilling cold is suspected of causing at least one death in St. Louis.

A homeless man found dead this week inside a dumpster, and the cause of death is suspected to be extreme cold.  

As the weather gets bitterly cold on a nightly basis, city officials are trying to get as many homeless off the streets as possible.  

"It's very dangerous for everyone but particularly the homeless," said Irene Augustin, Director of Human Services for St. Louis.

It's Augustin's job to make sure the city's homeless have a place to stay when it's this cold, which is why she wants the public to call 211 when they see someone out on the street this week -

"They can also call 911,” she said. “It's dangerously cold out there and we want to make sure people are safe."

During this deep freeze the city is working to house the homeless at the Biddle House on North 13th Street, and also utilizing other shelters in the area; mostly sending women to a separate shelter.

"All we can do is offer services. What we do is engage with them a number of times to make sure they are safe because what you don't want to do is check on them once because with frostbite that can happen in a matter of 30 minutes," Augustin said.

The city is averaging about 200 beds a night, which is just a percentage of the estimated 1,300 homeless on the streets.

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