Shelter is one of the primary needs of humans and this is even more true for those facing homelessness in colder climates. For those in sunny California, winter isn’t a huge concern however, for homeless people in places farther north, winter can be a death sentence. People who have to sleep outside face wind, cold, snow and the resulting hypothermia that is a result of sleeping outside. Reporting varies by city but winter is a leading cause of death for those who must live on the streets.

Homeless in the Motor City

In this video, Stacey Dooley talks about what people in Detroit face when they are homeless in harsh Michigan winters and what the community is doing to help.

Homeless in Ithaca

In this video, the legendary Mark Horvath, he takes is on a tour of a homeless encampment outside of Ithaca, New York where housing prices have pushed people out of shelter and into homelessness. These people have constructed various temporary structures to shield themselves from the cold and help to provide heat. A local activist in the area takes time away from his business to help people with propane heat, food, water, and even helps them improve their temporary shelters. Many of these people are on the list to get housing but the lists for vouchers for public housing are long and many people must wait years before having a voucher made available to them.

Homeless in Alaska

Alaska is a harsh and unforgiving place for 9 months of the year. It is the worst place to be homeless of the 50 states. However, Anchorage has homeless people and they face real challenges trying to survive the harsh winters. In this video from the Weather Channel, they interview people in the coldest city and try to see how they survive homelessness where heat is a real necessity for most of the year.