Homeless Man Freezes to Death on Steps of Shelter. How Did We Let this Happen?

Cassius Methyl
February 24, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) In a heartbreaking and intense incident, a homeless man died on the steps of a homeless shelter in Louisville, Kentucky in ‘sub-zero temperatures’. An autopsy has not been released yet, but he was found in a damaged state,  later pronounced dead presumably because of the extreme cold.

Before he died he had fears of dying in the cold, and desperately tried to seek shelter.

“He started crying,” said Maria Price, executive director of the day shelter. ‘Please help me find an apartment. I don’t want to die out there,’ he said.

According to a USA Today article “Price said Winfield was 49 and had been homeless for years. Like many of the chronically homeless, he had battled mental illness and substance abuse, she said. Recently, he had been sleeping in a tent with a girlfriend in a wooded area near downtown.”

This now deceased person had a record of good will and kindness. “He’d take a garbage bag around the block and pick up trash. He wanted us to be good neighbors,” said Maria Price.

In case you didn’t know, the youth are becoming homeless in greatly increasing prevalence too, due to lack of non-corporate economic opportunities and the state of our economy.  We’re all feeling the consequences of this era, when our economy has degraded into a primarily oligarchical, hierarchical economy.

“While there has been a 1 percent to 3 percent decrease annually in the homeless population in recent years, unfortunately, there are small increases in some populations including women and families. Harris said there is a waiting list for families and children to get into shelters. She said there is also an increase in young adults, those 18 to 24, which had doubled to about 500 homeless people in recent years before leveling off.” said Natalie Harris, executive director of the Coalition of the Homeless in Louisville.

More importantly, a set of factors killed this man that are frequently overlooked. These factors involve apathy, prevalence of drugs on the street and the culture perpetuated by the drug war, the lack of independent economic infrastructure in America and the general decline of the economy, among countless other reasons.

My point is, we can work to change the way things are in our society to ensure that the poor do not have to freeze to death on the cold pavement. We have to understand why this happened, and why everything happens. We must care for our fellow people and fully understand the circumstances that lead them to where they go, from drug addiction and/or homelessness, to whatever their struggle is.

Someone once said one cannot end homelessness, but we can collectively work to make sure the homeless do not have to go hungry or cold.

Please share this with as many people as possible and let’s start actively helping those in need.

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune-in to The Anti-Media radio show Monday-Friday @ 11pm EST, 8pm PST. Image credit: screen capture USA Today