Pensacola police helping the homeless stay warm in freezing temps
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) —
The frigid temperatures can pose a danger to anyone with no place to call home. Pensacola Police Department (PPD) officers are doing what they can to keep those people warm.
PPD Officer Britney Sturgeon's mission every day is to protect and serve. She keeps plenty of emergency blankets in her unit to hand out to the homeless.
On New Year's Day, her duty to serve translates to helping the less fortunate stay warm.
"Rain or shine we work in this weather, too," Sturgeon said. "We get to experience firsthand what these people are going through. Of course, we sometimes have better equipment than they do. We have jackets, but some people don't have those things."
In between calls, Sturgeon plans to help those stuck outside in the cold.
Driving down Palafox Street, she jumped into action pulling a couple of blankets out of her car to give to a homeless man on the sidewalk.
She knows this freezing weather can be dangerous.
Sturgeon said, "Just a few weeks back there was a gentleman who asked to enter a business because he was cold and he passed away. I think that the cold weather may have just been a contributor. He was just trying to get out of the cold. He wasn't feeling well."
She also calls local shelters to see if they have space available.
A 59-year-old homeless man feared the cold weather would kill him. He was more than ready to get out of the cold.
Sturgeon dropped him off at a local shelter.
While some may not be able to find a place to stay warm, Sturgeon is happy the donated blankets will be able to provide some comfort to the homeless.
Sturgeon said there are many reasons homeless people end up sleeping outside when there are shelters available.
Some have rules or qualifications that make them ineligible.
Many of them struggle to get to the shelters because they're too far.
Others have pets and would rather stay with them then abandon them.