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‘I’m afraid for a lot of our folks’ lives,’ nurse says of Asheville’s homeless population

<i>WLOS</i><br/>Many of the city's homeless will seek shelter from frigid temperatures and snow this weekend in the tunnel on Tunnel Road in Asheville.
WLOS
WLOS
Many of the city's homeless will seek shelter from frigid temperatures and snow this weekend in the tunnel on Tunnel Road in Asheville.

By Kristen Aguirre

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Many of the city’s homeless will seek shelter from frigid temperatures and snow this weekend in the tunnel on Tunnel Road in Asheville.

“It could be deadly. Hypothermia. We’re going to be well below the temperatures for hypothermia,” Krista Shalda, nurse and supervisor of BeLoved Asheville’s street medic team, said.

Shalda and her team will be out in full force to support those people.

”Preparing them, letting them know how many inches of snow is supposed to be coming,” she said.

What’s coming could be deadly.

“They can end up getting frostbite and even they could possibly die,” Shalda said of the homeless.

That is why Shalda was out Friday, meeting some of those people before the storm.

“Building that trust in the community so they’ll be willing to let us help them when it’s snowing, so we can prevent this kind of death that could occur if they don’t have medical attention from professionals,” Shalda said.

Shalda’s team is ready for whatever happens.

“Our medics are trained and we’re prepared to help people,” she said. “We hope we’ll be able to reach as many people as possible in the snow.”

The Code Purple has now been extended through Sunday, marking two full weeks of extreme cold. And now a significant amount of snow is on the way.

“I’m afraid for a lot of our folks’ lives,” Shalda said.

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