Winter weather brings intense struggles for Philly’s homeless

WRITTEN BY: ZURI HOFFMAN

With chilly weather and dropping temperatures it is obvious that the winter season is quickly approaching, as many students at Temple University are resorting to staying indoors around this time of year.

Some kids are taking matters into their own hands this winter. Coats stuffed with mittens/gloves, scarves, hats, etc. have been hung up on lampposts in Canada. The coats have a tag reading, "I am not lost! If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to keep warm!" Acts of kindness like this one can be beneficial to the homeless people in Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Good News Network)
Some kids are taking matters into their own hands this winter. Coats stuffed with mittens/gloves, scarves, hats, etc. have been hung up on lampposts in Canada. Tags on the coats read, “I am not lost! If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to keep warm!” Acts of kindness like this one can be beneficial to Philadelphia’s homeless. (Photo courtesy of Good News Network)

As Temple students, we have many housing options on and around campus. But there are many other people without homes, living on streets even during the colder seasons.

In Philadelphia, many homeless people can be found around Broad Street near Temple University’s Main Campus. Some of these individuals approach students asking for food, money or other items. This can pose as a challenge for students who feel ethically inclined to help the homeless as well as making sure that they stay safe.

Hakeem Harper, a Temple junior, says seeing individuals left out in the cold with no warmth and shelter makes him sad.

“Yes I have been approached by a homeless person during the semester. At first my response was negative because … I don’t know what they are thinking. But then I realized, that they are human and are going through many different struggles, just like everybody else,” Harper said. “That makes me feel sad and want to help them and at least give them something that will help in some type of way, especially when they are asking for money or food.

“Being as though Temple is a public campus, a homeless person is a part of our community and I don’t feel like I’m in danger as long as security is around,” Harper said, “but when they are not the homeless people can become a problem and be viewed as dangerous because they do have many deficiencies and they are strangers which can be a cause for concern for many students on campus.”

Speaking to other students, many admit to giving homeless people money or food. The advice I received is that giving homeless people helpful items is OK in safe conditions as long as students aren’t pressured into doing so. If students feel threatened in any way, calling TU Police or reporting the incident would be best in order to maintain a positive coexistence between Temple students and homeless people this season.

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