Bums' Rush: On Cold Night, Squads Fetch Homeless to Shelters

We've got a terrible cold -- or maybe the flu, or the Black Death -- and the cold snap is hitting us hard. But when we think of the record-breaking new wave of homeless in the city, many of whom huddled in sleeping bags or doorways last night, we lose, briefly, our self-regard, and marvel that these folks so prize their independence (or fear the shelters) that they stay on the streets even when the cold wind blows.

Last night the temperature dropped enough for the city to declare a Code Blue and set out to round up vagrants. for whom they had 8,000 warm beds waiting. (They don't have to come along if they don't want to: WCBS says at least one unhoused fellow, named Flynn, refused the offer. "I can't be around people like that," he said.)

If you see someone on the street who appears to need assistance, the Department of Homeless Services asks that you call 311.


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