Human Being Dies on Shelter’s Steps Amid Frigid Temps

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When the season’s first cold snap hit in November, Kenneth Winfield arrived at Louisville’s St. John Center for Homeless Men — his hands icy cold after sleeping outdoors.

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

Winfield was found on the steps of the St. John Center amid sub-zero temperatures Thursday night and later died, Price said.

Kenneth Winfield was 49.

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.

While they could have sought refuge at one of the city’s homeless shelters, which open extra space during cold temperatures, they apparently were among the dozens of homeless who often stay outdoors no matter what the conditions, Price said. USA Today February 22, 2015

“… Here you will put away the cold, calculating spirit of selfishness and self-seeking; lay off the armor of local strife and political opposition; here and now, for once, forgetful of the earthly and perishable, come up to these halls and consecrate them with one heart and one mind to works of righteousness and just guardians of the solemn rights you hold in trust. Raise up the fallen; succor the desolate; restore the outcast; defend the helpless; and for your eternal and great reward, receive the benediction . . . “Well done, good and faithful servants, become rulers over many things!”

“I Tell What I Have Seen”—The Reports of Asylum Reformer Dorothea Dix

Blog for Mental Health 2015

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