MPD, local shelters help those at risk during extreme cold

- Minneapolis police and local service providers will be on the lookout this weekend for those needing shelter during extremely cold temperatures. Chief Medaria Arradondo encouraged his officers and community members to keep a watchful eye on those outside. 

Some community agencies took it one step further. On Saturday, St. Stephens Shelter on Clinton Avenue in Minneapolis was a packed house.

"We made sure that we were able to staff the shelter today," said  Michelle Perrin, a lead advocate at St. Stephen's.

The shelter will remain open during the holiday weekend to accommodate those who need a warm place to stay.

"Today we were able to do that," said Perrin. "So we didn't have to ask folks to leave in the morning and have to go find someplace else warm to stay."

Even though all of the beds were full, they had options for those who continued to walk through the doors.

"We are also part of the Adult Shelter Connect Coordinated Entry," Perrin explained. "So anybody seeking shelter in Hennepin County can go to an Adult Shelter Connect, and we would be one of the options for people."

The weather is not just unpleasant, it's downright dangerous.

Police also ask residents and visitors to "keep a watchful and caring eye towards our vulnerable community members who may be outside and not properly clothed for these temperatures," according to a release.

At HCMC and Regions Hospital, doctors say they see plenty of exposure-related injuries. Especially an uptick in cases of frostbite and hypothermia.

Doctor Brian Peterson, a Health Partners physician at Regions Hospital said people should heed the warning signs before it's too late.

"If  you have pain, if you are uncomfortable at all, or feel tingling in your arms or legs," Peterson told Fox 9. "That's a warning sign to yourself to cover yourself up and get someplace warm."

Many of Minneapolis' local social service providers, including St. Stephens Street Outreach, are available to assist those who need a warm place to shelter. St. Stephens can be reached at 612-874-9292. 

MPD's 911 partners can also provide you with resource information.

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