Last November, we posted a story on our Facebook page about Jason, one of our guests who saw another homeless person on the street, unmoving, and called 911. Jason saved his life.
This morning two hours before we opened, one of our guests, “IB,” was walking down our alley to wait for GMC to open and saw another one of our guests, “ST.” There was a problem, though. ST was lying face down on the ground without any blankets. He wasn’t moving.
Thankfully, IB had a cell phone, realized something was very wrong, and called 911. Paramedics took ST to the hospital, and the officer who responded to the call told us later that ST was almost dead when paramedics arrived. Had IB not decided to come to GMC early and wait for us to open, ST would have probably died from exposure.
We are lucky that our guests watch out for each other and know when to call 911. Of course, we wish that it never has to get to the point of calling 911.
Hypothermia is real. Hypothermia is dangerous. Hypothermia can happen to anyone, and it can happen right in your own backyard.
Please make sure you have the hypothermia hotline (1-800-535-7252) in your phone. Don’t pass by someone on the street and write them off as passed out drunk. Call 911 if you see something that doesn’t look right. Also, be mindful if you are outside how your own body is responding to the cold.
Death from exposure is preventable, but only if we all pay attention and work together.