EAST ST. LOUIS, IL. (KPLR) – If anyone knows the dangers of the cold, it’s Leroy Moore. He was once homeless but now is a counselor for the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House Continuum of Life Care Center in East St. Louis.
Moore drives a van and checks on area homeless including one man who suffered severe injuries from past extreme cold.
“He got frostbite on both of his feet and he had to have his feet amputated,” said Moore. “Both feet were amputated half way.”
Moore delivered help to Ronald Johnson on Thursday night as temperatures headed towards single digits. Johnson and his wife live in a tent in a wooded area of East St. Louis. Moore helped Johnson load up frozen blankets and head to the warm shelter.
“I dug my blankets out because they got wet when the rain came through,” said Johnson. “And firewood is hard to find.”
Johnson and his wife decided to spend the night at the Continuum of Life Care Center.
“It makes me feel good to get people out of situations that were so critical,” said Moore.
LaShane Conner is also homeless. He found a warm cot at the Continuum of Life Care Center.
“I have been in abandoned buildings, cars and all that, so you know like coming here, this is a blessing,” said Conner.
Sometimes mental illness or a drug addiction can lead some homeless to stay in the cold.
“They don’t want to come in and those are the people that are hit the hardest,” said Jocelyn Harris, Continuum of Life Care Center.
The city of St. Louis also opened a cold weather shelter at 12th and Park.
For more information about the Continuum of Life Care Center call 618-271-2522. The center is located at 1274 N. 37th Street in East St. Louis.