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Oklahoma City's homeless seek warmth as temperature drops

With a low of 13 degrees on Wednesday, Oklahoma City's homeless population sought refuge in shelters to keep warm.
BY ADAM KEMP akemp@opubco.com Published: December 26, 2012

Michael Robinson was stranded in Oklahoma City, a place he's never been, and the temperature was dropping quickly.

Robinson, 54, was in town with his girlfriend, who travels around the United States for business, when the two got into a fight and Robinson was left behind.

Scared and looking for a place to hunker down to ride out the winter weather, Robinson got on a city bus and asked the driver to take him to the City Rescue Mission downtown.

“I was worried about dying. It got cold, it got real cold,” he said. “It was rough and I was out in the middle of nowhere and I don't know anything about this state.”

With Wednesday's temperatures dropping to a low of 13 degrees in the early morning, the lowest temperature in Oklahoma since February 2011, homeless people across the state have been seeking refuge from frigid temperatures.

Jennifer Thurman, deputy director for the Oklahoma Homeless Alliance, said she kept busy during the holiday to help Oklahoma City's homeless find shelter; avoiding exposure to temperatures that dip to single digits with the wind chill factored in.

“When it gets this cold, trying to spend the night outside can kill you,” Thurman said. “Thankfully, there are plenty of options for those with nowhere to go so they can stay warm and be safe.”

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