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YWCA sheltering homeless through covid pandemic, cold weather

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- While many are preparing to be home for the holidays, hundreds of people in Binghamton are homeless this Christmas.

According to the YWCA, around 300 adults and 50 children in Binghamton don't have a place to call home.

The organization provides community resources, essentials-- like clothing and toiletries-- and emergency shelter for the homeless.

YWCA Street Outreach and Emergency Housing Advocate Efraime Rosario knows where and what to look for when it comes to the homeless population in Binghamton. "So currently I go out, I go under bridges, I walk around downtown Binghamton, I go to pantries and I look for any individual that is looking for help, has a whole bunch of bags with them, luggage," he told 12 News.

When temperatures reach below freezing, Code Blue goes into effect across the state of New York. It's an order that ensures no one is left out on the streets when temperatures are dangerously cold.

Rosario says especially when it's this cold, he's looking for people that the YWCA can provide shelter for.

While the pandemic forced them to take in less people at first, Rosario says they are back to taking in more people, and even if they're full, no one is left behind. The shelter is able to convert couches or chairs into emergency beds if needed.

For more information, you can check out the YWCA of Binghamton website.

Chloe Vincente

Chloe Vincente is an Evening News Anchor at 12 News.

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