Closings and delays

Greensboro police checking on the homeless as cold weather rolls in

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- With the temperatures dropping, Greensboro police officers are making more frequent stops to check in on homeless people in our area.

We rode along with police as they visited two homeless camps near downtown on Thursday.

Officer Larry Roberts has worked as a community resource officer for four years and part of his job is visiting the camps.

“I get their names, talk to them, see who they are so we get on a first name basis,” Roberts said.

Police say they visit these camps to get to know the people who need help and then direct them toward the resources our community offers, like the IRC and Urban Ministries.

Officers also drop off donated items. Thursday, they brought blankets made from plastic bags that are often used as mats.

“Cold weather is coming and we want to make sure everybody has the appropriate warmth,” Roberts said.

Officer Roberts says he’s seen the homeless population rise since starting this role.

“In the last four years, I feel like the population has grown,” Roberts said. “It could be from outsiders coming into Greensboro because they realize the resources that we have and reputation we have for getting people back on their feet here. I think that has a lot to play into it.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development released its latest “point in time count” revealing the number of homeless people in our nation is up for the first time in seven years.

If anyone would like to donate any items to the homeless, they can drop stuff off at the police department and officers will deliver the items to the camps.