Helping the homeless get out of the cold

- New York City estimates 3,000 homeless people live on the streets. While many have sought shelter this week, many others haven't.

These are conditions we find tough, even just to get to the corner. Yet countless New Yorkers have no refuge, as Fox 5 saw across the city this week. We asked the Coalition for the Homeless why many make the choice to remain outside rather than accept the help the city offers.

Giselle Routhier said some of them may have had a bad experience in the shelter system and others aren't willing to try it.

Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city has opened dozens of so-called safe haven locations where beds are offered to the homeless with less-stringent rules than in the traditional shelter system.

But as John, who is using the subway system this week, told us, trust comes with time.

The city's safe haven rule is that nobody who asks for help is turned away at this time. The question is whether those who are living on the streets know of the new services and trust those telling them about it.

In the end, we as private citizens can help. If you know someone who wants help, call 311 to get the ball rolling. But if someone needs immediate medical attention, call 911.

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