The arctic blast can be downright dangerous for anyone with no choice but to sleep on the streets. But, all around Connecticut, people are working to make sure everyone knows they have a warm place to stay.
The Church or the Holy Trinity is one of the dozens of warming centers where people can stay safe from the elements. But one homeless advocate said sometimes the biggest challenge is making sure people know about the resources available at those warming centers.
Middletown resident Dennis Higgins spreads the message about the warming centers himself.
“People should take this very seriously because of a lot of people who are walking around with no gloves no hats and it's kind of brutal kind of brutal,” Higgins said.
Downtown Middletown was almost empty on Wednesday night as most people with a warm place to stay remain indoors. However, Higgins was out walking the streets of his hometown trying to protect the most vulnerable.
Higgins said his most valuable tool is information and he makes sure everyone including homeless men and women know they can find a warm place to sleep on Wednesday night at the Church or the Holy Trinity.
“Born and raised here in Middletown, it’s a great community and the outreach there are services out here,” Higgins said. “I've been walking around. I've been running into people who they need a place to stay.”
Higgins said he is proud of the work he does and added he has protected many people from the cold. He knows what they are going through because he's walked in their shoes.
“I feel for people. I've been homeless before,” Higgins said. “I've been homeless before and I know what it is to be out here in the cold.”
Higgins said he believes Wednesday night was an opportunity to reach folks who need help. He added good people helped turn his life around. While most of us were inside in our warm homes, Higgins said he will remain out here spreading hope.
“We can all use a hand up not a handout but a hand up,” Higgins said. “When that hand comes to pick you up Put your hand and grab it. Because that's what it's about.”
For a full list of the warming shelters in Connecticut, click here.
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