Workers and homeless battling the bitter cold - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Workers and homeless battling the bitter cold

Posted: Updated:

By Maurielle Lue
Fox 2 News

DETROIT (WJBK) -- The bitter cold temperature is a blast of reality of the harshness of winter in Michigan.  We hit the streets and talked to people who work, play and even live in the cold.

"It's very cold," one girl told me.

"What's cold on your body?" I asked.

"My face and my feet because I was just ice skating."

I also asked a worker how he keeps warm outside right now.

"When we're outside, we dress warm and we utilize hand warmers, good waterproof boots, good gloves, good hats," he said.

Meanwhile, Brinn Phillips-Draughn said, "You've got to at least make it fashionable.  If you're going to live like an Eskimo, you've got to look good."

First came the snow and now the bitter cold.  Below freezing temps ring in the New Year with a blast or should I say a burr.  It's the coldest it's been all winter.  Even a food truck worker said staying warm is a challenge.

"We can't feel our toes," he told me.  "It's warm on the grill.  That's it.  The rest of it's very cold."

However, for some the cold is more serious, even dangerous.  Lewis Hickson, operations manager at the NSO's Tumaini Center in Detroit, said the city's homeless numbers are nearing 20,000, but with only 2,000 shelter beds in the city, this time of year is especially busy.

"The center has just been filled to capacity," he said. "What you see is what it is. People live in these chairs."

Frank William Dillabree is a former Marine who told me he didn't want to be a burden to his family.

"I don't have [anywhere] to go," he said.  "My sister is dead.  My brother-in-laws are all gone.  All I have are nieces and nephews, and I don't want to be a problem for them."

Even though the arms of the NSO are open to everyone, it's first come, first serve.  That's why Dillabree said keeping warm keeps him on a tight schedule.

"When I come in, it's always warm, and then they have food sometimes," he said. "And walk across the street to the rescue mission and get a meal before I go to Operation Get Down and lay down at night. They feed you before you lay down, hot showers and everything, you can't beat it."

The NSO recently opened the Bell Building on Oakman in Detroit.  That's a permanent housing program for the homeless.  There is a gym, a computer room, an even a library.  It's really meant for homeless people that are working and trying to rebuild their lives.

There are some requirements to get into the Bell Building.  You must be homeless or chronically homeless and have an income within 30 percent of area median income, prove residency in Wayne County and have a disabling condition.

For more information about the Bell Building, call (313) 961-4890 or visit www.nso-mi.org.

  • Maurielle LueMaurielle LueMore>>

  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:51:50 GMT
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.

  • Marygrove College president wants to help child immigrants

    Marygrove College president wants to help child immigrants

    Thursday, July 17 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-07-17 23:37:56 GMT
    The immigration crisis at the border continues to make its way to Michigan. Now, the president of Marygrove College says he wants to provide resources to help child immigrants from Central America.
    The immigration crisis at the border continues to make its way to Michigan. Now, the president of Marygrove College says he wants to provide resources to help child immigrants from Central America.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:55:10 GMT
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:33:46 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
  • Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:27:05 GMT
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices