Blog

What Dangers Do the Homeless Face During the Winter?

Homeless

Winter can bring about some minor annoyances for most people, but for the homeless, it can be dangerous.

The Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area has been facing a colder winter than we’ve seen in the past few years already; we saw snow in early December and it has continued into early January as well. For most of this, all this signals is that it’s time to pull out the winter coats from under our beds, swap out our tires for winter ones, and shovel some snow out of the driveway. Those who are struggling with being homeless, however, face much more serious and potentially life-threatening dangers during the colder months.

Frostbite

Frostbite is typically winter’s biggest hazard in regards to homeless people. It commonly occurs in the hands or feet and can range in severity, bad enough frostbite can lead to amputations being made. It can also cause difficulties in terms of getting around or being able to perform day-to-day activities.

Illnesses

There are a whole host of illnesses associated with cold weather like we’ve been experiencing. Cold weather can cause your immune system to weaken and even makes your blood thicker. This increases risk of a lot of health issues, ranging from the common cold to heart problems.

Hypothermia

Prolonged exposure to hypothermia can result in people actually dying—and it isn’t uncommon, either.  According to The Washington Post, we saw over 800 deaths from hypothermia in 2015. Homeless people are, naturally, more prone to suffering from hypothermia because of their prolonged exposure to outside cold temperatures.

Depression

It should come as no shock that the reduced daylight and general dreariness winter can sometimes bring along with it can have a big impact on our mental health. There’s plenty of documentation out there on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression that can strike all kinds of people during these winter months in particular. Even then, science tells us that cold temperatures can cause some enzymes in the brain to be less effective which makes us slower and less able to spring into action. Mental health is already a concern for many homeless people and in the winter, it is only worse.

Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Volunteering in Baltimore

To learn more about our youth programs, Attendance Affirmation Project, how to help, or to find out more about our services including hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194. You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.

Tags: , ,


Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 695 reviews
4100 North Point Boulevard Baltimore , Maryland 21222
(410) 477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood & Crabs Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes