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"You get so cold, you go to sleep and you never wake up": Homeless find refuge in warming centers

Posted at 6:12 AM, Dec 28, 2017

Mark Thornton said he was one of the dozens of people who spent Tuesday night inside, in the cold. Thornton said he slept inside Malachi Center, but a power outage left visitors without heat.

“What are you gonna do. If you ain’t got nowhere to go,” said Thornton. “I hope people get somewhere, because I wouldn’t do this to a dog.”

Thornton said he’s been on Cleveland’s streets since October. He said joblessness and poor communication with his family led to homelessness.

RELATED: Officials warn of fire dangers from alternative heat sources used during power outages

Thornton said he and about 75 others huddled together at Malachi House to stay warm when the power went out.

“Most of the homeless people know each other,” he said. “I went to the shelter- they didn’t have any heat, or any lights. I’m looking for one dude, guy I grew up with. He didn’t show up at the shelter. The cold, it rocks you. You get so cold, you go to sleep, and you never wake up.”

Warming Center Locations:

  • Zelma Watson George Rec Center—3155 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Cleveland, OH 44104
  • Collinwood Rec Center—16300 Lakeshore Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44110
  • Michael Zone Rec Center—6301 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
  • Lonnie Burton Rec Center—2511 E 46th St, Cleveland, OH 44104