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Unsheltered locals dealing with winter temperatures on the streets



Little Rock, Arkansas — Warmth is essential as the weather begins to cool off, but some people have not been as lucky.

During the winter, many members of the unsheltered population seek shelter, but one unsheltered woman claimed she still lives on the streets.

“Most of the shelters are full and 90% of them don’t take a couple,” said a local unsheltered woman.

She admitted to having breast cancer while she and her boyfriend were living on the streets, and she said it is difficult to survive.

“If you ain’t got the skills you won’t survive,” said the unsheltered woman. “We’ve lost two good friends out here already.”

She acknowledged choosing to be homeless while sobbing.

“My heart goes out to them.” said the woman. “I never knew that being homeless could be this rough.”

She said that everyone is required to abide by the shelter’s rules, which include arriving at a specific time in order to secure a bed.

According to Jeremy Burton, director of residential services at Union Rescue Mission, some people may decide against using drugs, drinking alcohol, or having a mental condition.

“That lifestyle comes hand-in-hand with drugs and alcohol and mental illness,” said Burton. “It’s just a lifestyle that they’ve chosen to live. When there are a ton of amenities available to people some just don’t want to adhere to rules.”

The Nehemiah House is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that also welcomes those without refuge during the winter.

A few unsheltered people sought warmth on the first night they were open this year.

One person arrived at 2:30 in the morning, freezing.

Because someone once did something for him, according to Burton, he now gives back to the community.

“It’s a calling on my life to give back,” said Burton.


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