Antelope Valley homeless get much-needed winter gear amid freeze warning

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Friday, November 11, 2022
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As Antelope Valley remained under a freeze warning Thursday, concerns grew for those experiencing homelessness in the area and groups stepped in to help.

ANTELOPE VALLEY (KABC) -- As Antelope Valley remained under a freeze warning Thursday, concerns grew for those experiencing homelessness in the area and groups stepped in to help.

"My heart breaks when I get an alert on my phone for a freeze warning in the AV," said Jeremy Johnson with Grace Resources, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless. "I know that there are people living on the streets. We do our best to get them jackets, winter coats, blankets, but I know despite those efforts, there are people who are going to die this winter."

Forecasters have issued freeze and frost advisories for overnight hours due to the cold airmass in some areas.

Many of the homeless in the Antelope Valley are sleeping in pitched tents in empty fields.

Johnson said in the bitter cold, sleeping in tents could be fatal for those too frail to withstand a harsh freeze.

Xavior, a homeless man who spoke with Eyewitness News on Thursday, received blankets, winter gear and from Grace Resources.

"These people were nice enough to give me a nice heavy blanket for tonight ... I've been homeless since Katrina," he said. "The best way for me to cope is to get some pocket heaters and put them in my pocket and put them in my shoes. The worst part is you get things like cracked nails and cuticles bleed and you wake up sometimes with like blood on your lips from the cold."

Meanwhile, volunteers with a homeless advocacy group called A Change Has Come has also been pitching in to help.

"It's so sad. Can you imagine how it would feel to sleep outside when it's a freeze?" said the group's CEO Connie Vaughn. "I cannot even in my own home and it's cold. We have that luxury of turning on the heat and these don't."

Johnson said they're currently looking for more winter gear to donate to the homeless.

For more information, visit Grace Resources' website.