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DC groups assist unhoused people in downtown

Several groups of people provided assistance to unhoused locals in McPherson Square Friday night in single digit weather.

WASHINGTON — As strong winds whipped across Washington D.C., Friday night, some local groups tried to keep tents warm.

Dozens of tents for unhoused people are set up on McPherson Square in downtown D.C.

On Friday, representatives of the DC Department of Human Services came to the downtown federal park to give people blankets and offer shelter indoors.

Many people there, like Jeff Kilgore, decided to keep up with their normal routine and stay in the park. But, they said they were thankful to receive assistance. "It's real nice bringing out blankets and stuff," Kilgore said.

At least two people in the park did accept the District's offer for shelter. A mother walked up to DHS employees with her son in tears.

Unfortunately, living outside, any time of the year can be harmful to one's health. Advocates for the unhoused said Tuesday, during a vigil, that at least 72 people have died on D.C. streets this year.

"The fact that so many people died without housing shows how vulnerable people experiencing homelessness are," said advocate Jesse Rabinowitz.

That's part of the reason a group of young men and women, affiliated with no group, came out to help Friday night too. They passed out hats, gloves, blankets, clean socks, and shirts.

They said it was just important to help their neighbors. "Just do your part," said one of the group members.

Many other groups have also hit the streets to help people in need. The groups include Martha's Table, Remora House, and the Salvation Army to name a few.

District government says additional services have been made available for unhoused people in D.C.

If you see someone in need of shelter, you're asked to call 311 or 202- 399-7093. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.

You can find an updated list of housing shelters by clicking here.

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