Homeless shelters in Hartford filling up as temperatures drop - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Homeless shelters in Hartford filling up as temperatures drop


Many homeless shelters are having a tough time meeting the demand for shelter and several of them told Eyewitness News that they even have to turn people away in the cold.

According to officials, the shelter at the South Park Inn in Hartford is full and workers have turned away 45 people in the past two days.

"They come in and you see it's cold and you see how they look and then they have to walk right back out that door," said Veddet Vesquez, who is homeless. "It breaks your heart, it breaks your heart."

Vesquez told Eyewitness News that she's lucky to be warm inside the South Park Inn with her 8-year-old son, especially with the bitter cold temperatures. 

"Thank God South Park is here," said Vesquez, who recently lost her job. "I mean, it's hard, it's hard, it's hard."

More than 100 men, women and children stayed at the South Park Inn on Wednesday to stay warm.

The shelter's assistant director Brian Baker told Eyewitness News they've been taking people in, even though they don't have enough room.

"If there's no room at other local shelters. We'll have them come in, sit on the couch, that sort of thing," Baker said. "Just to keep people out of the cold."

The demand for shelter exists year-round, according to shelter officials. However, the shelter is vital during the winter months. 

"It is critical that folks that need shelter are going to get shelter and nobody will be subject to freezing to death," Baker said.

Shelter workers told Eyewitness News they are always in need of things such as blankets, hats, gloves and toiletries.

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For people such as Michael LaPada, the South Park Inn is a lifesaver as he prepares to start a new job next week.

"It's a relief actually after trying somewhere to live after, you know, losing a job and just being in that situation it's a big help here," he said.

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