Connecticut residents help each other during cold spell

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — As the temperatures drop, the danger is on the rise for those who can’t get out of the cold.

Governor Dannel Malloy has enacted the Severe Cold Weather Protocol to open up warming shelters across the state, and he’s getting help from unlikely places.

Mac is homeless, living in a shelter in Hartford. However, he is out in the cold giving away an extra pair of gloves and socks to his fellow homeless. They were Christmas gifts to him, and he feels others could use them more.

“There’s no sense in me holding onto them when people are going to need them,” Mac said.

Related Content: Malloy activates Connecticut’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol; warming centers open across the state

AJ Wyman works for Hands for Hartford. He transports people on the streets to the shelters and to the warming centers.

“Anything is going to be better than sleeping under a bridge or out in a park so we want everybody to get the message,” Wyman explained. “Come here, get a warm meal and be somewhere warm overnight.”

You don’t have to be homeless or on the street to come to one of these warming shelters. You can just lose heat or lose your power and find the nearest one to you and walk right in.

Sarah DiMaio is with the Salvation Army and says they except anybody anytime because of the dangerous conditions outside.

“No matter what the demographic is, individual or family, as long as they call 2-1-1 they will be connected to one of the Salvation Army’s programs and we will offer shelter,” she said.

DiMaio says during the protocol, the Salvation Army has a van, and even partners with a taxi company to make sure anyone who wants to get out of the cold can.

“We do offer transportation to and from different warming centers and…shelters to make sure that they are always sheltered,” she said.

Warming centers are open across a number of Connecticut cities, including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and New London.

A list of shelters and warming centers that are open across Connecticut can be located by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.211ct.org.

The Severe Cold Weather Protocol will be in effect until at least Jan. 2, 2018.

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