The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Neil J. Donovan, Executive Director National Coalition for the Homeless 202-462-4822 x228

Seven Hundred Killed from Hypothermia Annually in US


National Coalition for the Homeless has just released its report,
Winter Homeless Services: Bringing Our Neighbors in from the Cold, to
raise awareness of the dangers and often fatal consequences of
hypothermia on people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The full
report is now available at

people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness are killed from
hypothermia annually in the United States. Forty-four percent of the
nation's homeless are unsheltered. From the urban streets of our
populated cities to the remote back-country of rural America,
hypothermia - or subnormal temperature in the body - remains a leading,
critical and preventable cause of injury and death among those
experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

NCH maintains that
knowledge, networking and temporary seasonal shelter and outreach are
three of the most important elements to an effective regional or local
approach to the reduction and prevention of exposure and hypothermia.

report is a snapshot of winter homeless services nationwide. NCH staff
has gathered information for this report from forty states and the
District of Columbia, representing urban, suburban and rural
communities. NCH interviewed state and local coalitions, healthcare
providers, and shelter operators in order to gain the best and broadest
possible understanding of cold weather services available through these
direct service providers and first responders.

There is
general consensus among public health officials, medical professionals
and service providers that to reduce the incidence of hypothermia
nationwide, local communities should implement effective and timely
strategies to address the needs of vulnerable populations, including
creating temporary homeless shelters and extending the hours of
operation for existing shelters.

Click here to read the Full Report

National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To end and prevent homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights are respected and protected. We envision a world where everyone has a safe, decent, accessible and affordable home.