It's an everyday problem, says Dale Zuchlewski from the Homeless Alliance of WNY in Buffalo, that doesn't go away.
"Homelessness isn't a season. It happens all the time. They're homeless in May, July, September," says Zuchlewski, Homeless Alliance of WNY executive director.
Yet only seems to garner attention at the holidays and dead of winter.
"Poverty isn't a character flaw, it's a lack of money," said Zuchlewski.
Which is why the Alliance is calling for more outreach, as well as an increase in funding for more affordable housing. It also wants leaders, like Sen. Charles Schumer, to stand up to neighbors who don't want it in their backyard.
"The solution to homelessness is a home. People just need a place to live. People just can't afford their rent anymore. Rents are increasing by a few hundred dollars per month over the last couple of years and wages haven't gone up by that much," said Zuchlewski.
The call for greater awareness comes following the death of Larry Bierl, who froze to death at this Williamsville bus stop during last week’s snowstorm. Known to many as Larry from Williamsville, a son, a brother, a friend — homeless.
"It's wonderful that the people in Williamsville had that compassion for him. If people are really outraged to what happened and think something should be done, they can do something," said Zuchlewski.
"I would be freezing my toes off somewhere, or crying, or both," said Jordan Luzier of Salamanca.
Luzier says he's temporally homeless, and took to the warming shelter at Harbor House in Buffalo during last week’s arctic blast.
"I'm establishing housing. I'm going to go to either UB or Buff State to finish off my degree in tax law," said Luzier.
Zuchlewski says he can't help but reflect on what could have been done to prevent Larry's death.
"But the simple fact of the matter is, without adequate resources, there's going to be another Larry at some point," said Zuchlewski.
If you know of someone who needs help getting off the streets, you're urged to call 2-1-1.