Boston Coldest Day: Polar Vortex Causes Boston To Have The Coldest In 59 Years, What Happens To The Homeless?

Boston experienced the coldest day since 1957. The mercury in Boston dipped to a frigid nine below zero and the windchill in the city hit 28 below zero. The temperature is expected to peak at 10 degrees today. Boston is not the only area in the Northeast that is suffering from some of the coldest temperatures in recorded history. Central Park in New York City experienced its coldest February 14 since temperatures were being recorded. The temperature this morning in the park was one below zero.

On Twitter, people from Boston were reacting to the dangerous conditions.

The crippling cold impacting Boston, New York, and other states in the region, is courtesy of a polar vortex that made its way into the region. The Arctic air made its way into the area on Saturday and was expected to bring with it some of the coldest temperatures in history. Michael Plamer of the Weather Channel (via New York Daily News) let the people of Boston know what they should expect today.

“For people stepping outside on Sunday morning, it’s going to be like walking into a freezer. This will be the coldest air for more than a decade for much of the Northeast.”

Record-breaking cold that the Northeast is experiencing can be dangerous and fatal. For most people, they will be able to stay warm inside of their homes, but those who are homeless are at risk of injury or death from exposure to the elements. Boston has been making a huge effort to make sure the thousands of homeless people can find a place to stay while the polar vortex bears down on the city. The homeless population in Boston has increased by 5.8 percent from 2013 to 2015. The increasing number of homeless people puts a strain on the homeless shelters in the area.

The Pine Street Inn is one of the largest homeless shelters in Boston. Barbara Trevisan is the communications director and she commented about the arrangements her shelter is making.

“It’s the first super cold snap of the winter … we will not tell anyone that there is no room. We will do something, and make sure that everyone can get out of the cold.”

The Boston Public Health Commission has issued a statement noting that emergency shelters will be opened around the clock. These shelters will not turn anyone away who is desperate to get out of the cold. Due to the crazy winter that Boston had last year, emergency shelters and homeless shelters were set up. No homeless person has been reported to have lost their life last year due to being exposed to the winter elements. Officials are hoping that statistic holds for this winter, as well.

Even though shelters are available, not all homeless people will use them. One homeless man, Camilli, gives his opinion on staying in the Boston shelters.

“I’m not against shelters, but I don’t really like them. They are sometimes overcrowded, and have many rules.”

Boston’s coldest day will soon be over. Looking to the future, the forecast for Boston on Tuesday shows temperatures rising to 50 degrees.

[Image via AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File]