Activist concerned about homeless families in the extreme cold

Friends of the Homeless, Springfield Rescue Mission say they wouldn't turn families away

WWLP file image

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Imagine not having a warm place to stay for the night during this brutally cold weather.

Springfield community activist Michaelann Bewsee contends that there are no effective safety nets to protect homeless families that might fall through the cracks, when it becomes essential that everyone is protected from the intense weather now blowing through the Pioneer Valley. Bewsee told 22News that she is worried not all families are covered by existing regulations.

“I’m concerned that there are families at risk, and single people. The city does have an emergency plan for homeless single people- although it doesn’t kick in until it’s ten degrees- but they have no plan for families,” Bewsee said.

The Friends of the Homeless and the Springfield Rescue Mission have facilities for hundreds of homeless people, and they bring whole families in during an emergency. 22News brought up Bewsee’s concerns to Bill Miller of the Friends of the Homeless.

“I welcome the advocates who say ‘just make sure you’re covering every possible situation.’ If a family is here, we’re not sending them anywhere,” Miller said.

As the temperature continues to drop, Bewsee said that if she learns there is a family left out in the cold, she’d gladly put them up for the night at her agency’s office on State Street.