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Police to take homeless to shelter amid storm | News

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Police to take homeless to shelter amid storm

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Amid a winter storm bearing down on West Michigan, officers with the Grand Rapids Police Department are looking for those caught in the elements.

The department are conducting sweeps of the downtown area in an effort to locate homeless people who might not be in shelter.

"We've had weather related deaths in the homeless community, that's something we've had in the past and that's something we are trying to avoid, some of them so needless in an alleyway downtown literally feet from a door that they could have stepped inside," says Lt. Patrick Merrill.

At 2 p.m. Monday search found no persons, and police plan to look again around 3:15 p.m., said Matt Ostapowicz, a captain with the department.

Latest storm information: Dangerous winter storm to sweep West Michigan
Roadways: Latest highway speeds, conditions in West Michigan
More: Storm prompts state to activate Emergency Operations Center

Anyone who is found will be taken to safe shelters like Mel Trotter or Degage ministries during the storm.

"You do feel bad for them especially in the weather like this when they're out in the cold," says Officer Eric Gizzi.

The public is asked to contact the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616-456-3400 someone is seen needing shelter.


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