By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When the City of Philadelphia declares a “code blue,” several organizations go into action to get homeless people off the cold streets.
Today, we rode along with Kevin Norris, a member of the Horizon House Special Protocol Outreach Team (“SPOT” team) and his partner as they did their job.
“We’re a mobile team that offers services to homeless individuals,” Norris explains. His goal today was to find homeless people and get them off the streets during these dangerously cold temperatures.
Do people always decide to go with him to get out of the cold?
“No, not all the time,” Norris says.
One homeless man, Luther Howard, explained that some homeless people are reluctant to enter shelters because they have had bad experiences there.
“Well, a lot of the shelters are not run right,” Howard tells KYW Newsradio. “It’s not clean, security is not doing their job. So a lot of people want their own freedom.”
Norris says they can’t force people to come with them, but “we try to make it really appealing to them to come in. If it’s too cold, we have to ‘302’ them against their will sometimes.”
And that means?
“302 is involuntarily putting them into a crisis center or something like that.”