Homeless stay out all night in freezing temperatures
Vandiver has been without a house since 1990, his camp is what he calls home. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Take a walk back into the woods and you'll find camps, just like this one, filled with make-shift shelters made from tarps and blankets.
"Sometimes you get leaks, so you take tape and you patch the leaks up just like you would anything else," said Paul Vandiver.
Vandiver has been without a house since 1990, his camp is what he calls home.
"Are you happy out here?” “Yes, extremely," said Vandiver.
During the day he sits by the fire and when the sun goes down, he retires to his abode.
There is no insulation, no heat or air; but he gets by with his heat lamp and a few blankets.
"You just gotta prepare for it," said Vandiver.
Help has been offered to him to get him out of the cold, but he would rather stay put with his two four-legged friends.
"The other people need help too and I'm pretty set right here," said Vandiver. "They're just less fortunate than me."
For others living out in the woods who don't have the heat or shelter to keep them warm during frigid temperatures, Relevant Hope is stepping in, offering to take them to the local shelter or a free stay in a hotel room.
Eighteen people took advantage of a hotel stay, the others at the camp did not.
"Sometimes it's just plain stubbornness and pride that says I've got to stay out here and do this on my own," said Jimmy Turner.
They won't stop worrying, until they're all safe from the cold.
"Every one of them, I'm worried about them all," said Turner. "These are people we know by name, these are our friends and it's scary to think of your friend in such a terrible circumstance; especially when you're doing everything you can to get them out of it and they still won't go."
Relevant Hope says they are going to go and check up on all of the homeless who opted to stay outside.