Officers warn homeless to get to shelter

The Homeless Outreach Team is made up of six officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department. Helping homeless people is their full time job.

The team was originally formed in 2008 with only three officers. There team has doubled since then and even added a case worker to their crew.

Before the major 2019 March blizzard, officers from the HOT team went to homeless camps around the city to warn people to take shelter.

Officer Tim Kippel told 11 news they hit all of the camps they could find to let them know a blizzard was coming.

"We did get out and about yesterday, let people know that the blizzard was coming and quite a few of those people did make their way to the shelters last night," Kippel said.

Every morning he and his team check the number of available beds at shelters around the city to let people know they have the option of a warm bed.

When they go out in conditions like the ones we had during the blizzard, the HOT team stocks their cars with essentials that they can hand out at the homeless camps.

The team tells 11 News their dispatchers even make care packages full of hats, hand warmers, and feet warmers to hand out to homeless people.

The HOT team says they were out every morning leading up to the blizzard to warn people about the dangerous weather.

They said after they notified people they saw a decrease in the number of homeless people who were out in the cold. They're hoping that's because the homeless people utilized local shelters to keep warm.