Push made to help homeless as dangerous cold arrives

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There was a push Wednesday to help homeless people before the potentially life-threatening cold settled in on Long Island.

Mickey Curran, 61, is homeless and living outdoors with stage 3 lung cancer. He spends his nights in a makeshift shelter next to an abandoned building. News 12 found him in Eisenhower Park with other homeless men.

"It works out as long as I can put one foot in front of the other, I'm good" Curran said.

There are nearly 4,000 homeless people on Long Island. They often remain hidden and refuse help when approached.

"I'd rather just die out here, I tell you the God's honest truth," Curran said.

Dwayne Brown, who works for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, traveled across the Island Wednesday, handing out blankets, coats and other supplies.

"I just make sure they have the proper stuff that they need," Brown said.

Nassau County police also made the rounds Wednesday, offering assistance and telling people where they can go to stay warm. Officer Matt McCartin said he was concerned about Curran and would check on him later.

Aside from warming centers, Long Island Rail Road waiting rooms are another respite from the cold. The railroad keeps waiting rooms open 24 hours during frigid weather.

"I'm going to make it," Curran said as he walked away.

Nassau police said officers would be on patrol throughout the night, making sure no one was left out in the cold.


Long Island Coalition for the Homeless helps those in need amid frigid cold


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