The recent stretch of bitter cold has taken a toll on Broome County residents. The group most seriously impacted by the frigid temperatures is the homeless population. According to the National Weather Service, frostbite can occur in 30 minutes at 0 degrees with a wind speed of 15 mph. (wind chill temperature -19 degrees). The combined drop of temperature to below zero readings and an increase of wind gusts could create wind chill readings of -25 or below. Frostbite in these conditions happens in 10 minutes. Hypothermia, the body’s potential deadly response to cold that causes the body temperature to dip below 95 degrees, can cause memory loss, dizziness, incoherence, exhaustion and other symptoms.
As a charitable organization with over 150 years of caring for men in need of support, the YMCA of Broome County has joined with other agencies in providing “No Freeze” beds for homeless men. YMCA Fund Development Officer, Dan Smith, says the YMCA of Broome County’s Downtown Binghamton facility also provides a shower, toiletries and a blanket to each overnight guest.
Community members may join in this lifesaving effort through donations of the following items:
Toiletries: soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.
New/Gently Used Clothing items: especially socks, underwear, gloves, warm hats/face-mask stocking caps, scarves, long johns, winter coats and handwarmers.
Snacks: individual packs of crackers, chips, peanut butter or cheese and crackers, etc.
Donated items may be left at Broome County YMCA at 61 Susquehanna St, Binghamton, NY or the West Family YMCA at 740 Main St, Johnson City, NY.
Thank you for your kindness on behalf of those in critical need in these severe conditions.