HUNTS POINT - During the cold winter months it can sometimes be hard to find a homeless shelter with space available, but there are other options in the Bronx.
Drop-in centers like Bronx Works in Hunts Point don't abide by typical shelter rules. "The vast majority of our clients are substance abusers. A really good percentage of them, over half, have a severe mental illness," says Noel Concepcion of Bronx Works. "So the drop-in center is really a low-threshold kind of setting where we don't have as many rules and as much structure in place."
The Bronx Works center is open 24 hours a day year-round. When temperatures drop, officials say they can see about 60 people come to the center on an average night. They say during times when outreach efforts increase, the number can jump to about 100.
Those who have stayed at Bronx Works say they felt safe despite the reduced regulations. They say their case managers helped them with things like health care and finding a permanent place to live.