Temperatures have plunged across the Capital Region, posing dangerous conditions for all, especially those without shelter.
But the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless is a lifesaver this time of the year, providing people a warm place to stay, and more.
“We’ve seen as many as 80 or 90 people in a day,” said deputy executive director Kristen Giroux.
Some seek overnight shelter, which IPH does offer, while others are able to take advantage of its Community Connections Center on Sheridan Avenue.
“A drop-in center for people in the neighborhood,” Giroux called it.
It’s a place where people without a home can grab a warm bath, wash their clothes and find some warm clothes.
“Shop with dignity,” Giroux said. “You know you get to choose your own items.”
People can find a hot meal, too.
“It’s better, clean and no problems,” said Ernest Miller, who knows first-hand what a place like IPG means to people without a home this time of year in the northeast.
“Some people don’t let their pride down,” said Miller, who was homeless until recently, when he utilized a number of programs at IPH. "Some people stay out in the cold. That’s not a good idea. As far as right now, I’m trying to get help with schooling, get into school for aesthetics, get my GED and find work.”
It’s that kind of story that keeps staff at IPH going because they know there are hundreds others like it.
“If I imagine that I’m out and about and I don’t know where I’m going to go, I don’t know where the next bathroom is or I don’t know where I can go that is warm, on a day like this, that’s life or death,” Giroux said.