Homeless families battling freezing weather

Credit: Ryan Hilliard

Homeless families battling freezing weather

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

BOISE -- The freezing temperatures are on everyone's minds, but especially those without a warm home.

The chilling temperatures are of course extremely difficult on the homeless in our area.

On Monday, we visited Boise's warming shelter, where families are finding relief from the weather.

When it's 7 degrees, it's much too cold for kids like 3-month-old Alba to be outside for long.

Her mother Tamara Briggs says she does everything she can to keep both her infant and her 5-year-old son warm.

Briggs says it would be nearly impossible without Boise's day shelter at the Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center.

"Place to keep my kids warm, food to eat, better than being outside freezing with both my kids," said Briggs.

She's not alone, several homeless families are grateful for the indoor location during the day, since they stay at Interfaith Sanctuary overnight, which closes each morning.

Cacy Yagon has a 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old daughter.

"If we were outside you would freeze to death," said Yagon.

She says without a home and enough clothing, it's hard to keep kids protected from the weather.

"They're crying, it's really cold outside, especially like this morning was negative 2 degrees, they were crying just to get out from the door, out in the cold, and across the way," said Yagon.

Paul Schoenfelder works with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department.

He says the facility also offers food, games, toys, computers, and a family environment for those with nowhere else to go.

"We are definitely busier, we are running about 25 or 30 percent where we were a year ago," said Schoenfelder.

Yagon tells us having children without a home is hard enough, adding freezing conditions is just frightening.

"The scary part is not knowing what you are going to be doing, how you are going to do it," said Yagon.

Parks and Rec tells us another big concern for families with children is sickness.

They also try to provide winter clothing for children to help protect them from getting a cold or the flu.

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