Homeless Camp Along Grand River Despite Frigid Temps
Many homeless remain in their tents regardless of the freezing temperatures.
If you have traveled on Market Avenue in Grand Rapids, you may have noticed a tent city along the Grand River.
I drive down Market Avenue often and one day I looked across the river and spotted a tent, then another tent, then more and more. It has become like a mini campground along that part of the river.
Some of the homeless have even built their own out houses in areas with some of the homeless live in groups and there are multiple tents close to one another.
Now it's not just cold out right now, it is deathly cold out and very dangerous for people living outside. Frostbite and hypothermia are a real thing in freezing temperatures. Especially when the temperatures are this consistently cold night after night.
According to WOOD, there is a Code Blue in effect right now that has shelters open all across Grand Rapids to help keep people out of these freezing temperatures.
Many of the homeless prefer to be in a tent away from other homeless people in shelters plus there are no rules on the river.
What I thought was really odd, is when a reporter from WOOD ask a homeless woman and her boyfriend why she was living in a tent she replied, "I like being outside, I like camping, I like doing it."
During a Code Blue, even homeless people who have been banned from shelters for one reason or another are invited to come in from the frigid cold. There are homeless advocates that go around finding homeless to encourage them to get out of the cold but still many refuse the offer.
Many of the homeless in tents have acquired propane tanks for small heaters and some even have generators to run electric and heaters. Running propane heaters in a tent is highly dangerous but I guess sleeping out in the cold it too.
If you know anyone who is homeless and may be living outside, try and contact them to let them know the shelters are taking people in to get them out of the bitter cold.