Helping the homeless in the cold

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – With a feels-like temperature dropping into single digits tonight, Weston Field House has been converted into a temporary homeless shelter.

“We’re all struggling, homeless right now because of this virus. We’re all trying to survive, but it seems as soon as you get up in the world, it pulls you right back down,” said John Drutherosky.

Drutherosky has been homeless off and on his entire life. He says it becomes especially hard whenever frigid temperatures make their way to Scranton.

“Find whatever shelter you can, drink warm coffee, or if you have a family, ask anybody you can to stay the night or stay up on your rent because when it’s this cold, you do die. You will freeze to death,” said Drutherosky.

“They risk hypothermia, dehydration is another one people don’t think about, they aren’t drinking, they aren’t taking care of themselves properly, they also have poor hygiene that is out there so now you’re affected by disease and all of that other stuff. So there’s a lot of co-morbidity that is involved in this. They’re affected by all of these different things going on,” said Justin Behrens, CEO, Keystone Mission.

Justin Behrens is the CEO of Keystone Mission, a faith-based organization that provides help and hope to the homeless, hungry and hurting people in northeastern Pennsylvania.

When temperatures dip below 20 degrees, the Mission opens Weston Field House for people to keep warm. He says it’s not just about giving people one night with a roof over their head.

“We’ll actually get them a shower, make sure they are safe and warm, but at the same time, we’re hearing their story so we can get them off the streets,” said Behrens.

At the end of the day, Drutherosky says it’s all about keeping hope.

“Life is hard, but my advice to everybody is to stay strong and have faith, you know,” said Drutherosky.

Weston Field House is not the only homeless shelter available. If you’re in need of a place to stay, you can also head to Ruth Place, Catherine McAuley House or Community Intervention Center.

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