GRAND JUNCTION,Colo. For many of the Grand Valley’s homeless population finding a warm place to stay and food to eat is not an easy task. Eric Niederkruger is a member of the Solidarity Not Charity Homeless Advocate group and said that he has seen firsthand the effects sleeping in the cold can have on someone.
“We have a program where we go out at night and look for people that are stuck in the ice and cold and possibly freezing to death,” said Niederkruger.
Through the organization of solidarity not charity they are able to help those stuck outside find a place to sleep. But Eric says it’s not just finding a place to sleep at night that is the issue some days* during the winter months don’t ever reach above freezing.
“Well you get kicked out of the shelters in the morning because they have to turn it over and you have to go someplace,” said Niederkruger.
The Solidarity Not Charity organization thinks the way to improve the situation is by creating a homeless bill of rights and so they are collaborating with a Denver based organization to work on state legislature. Terese Howard from the Denver Homeless Out Loud group says they want to give those without a place to go more options.
“It addresses the current criminalization of basic acts of survival in public space that is severely affecting people experiencing homelessness,” said Howard.