Local agencies help keep the homeless warm, healthy during winter

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - In this week's Health Report, we took a look at how agencies in town are working together to keep those in need warm and healthy during the winter months ahead. Living on the street or in a crowded homeless shelter can expose people to illnesses such as a common cold or worse, pneumonia, according to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

The Fairbanks Housing and Homeless Coalition and the Noel Wein Library are putting together a community needs drive to help those who are lacking some essential resources.

"The general need right now is winter clothing," said Sheryce Borgatti, outreach coordinator for the Fairbanks Housing and Homeless Coalition.

Community agencies are working together to eliminate health concerns such as frostbite and cold weather respiratory illness. By simply providing basic necessities, they can help people bear winter conditions.

"That's the season that we're in, and a lot of people are looking for larger sizes and men's clothing. And there's an agency that is looking for children's clothing all the way down to newborn sizes," she said.

It's not always clear what people need, so the Housing Coalition called around to some other agencies and they found out harmful weather conditions pose one of the biggest problems right now.

"It's a good opportunity to give back and even though it might seem not direct, like you're not giving directly to the person who's struggling with poverty or homelessness, the fact is that these agencies are doing such amazing work with the people that they help," she said.

Bridging the gap and giving simple comforts can help make difference for those trying to cope in Fairbanks.