Out in the Cold

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

The cold weather has wrapped its arms around the stateline area, and isn't expected to loosen its grip for a couple of days. With temperatures expected to dip into the single digits Thursday night, many people without heat are trying to get out of the cold.

With the first cold snap of the year, residents without heat are scrambling to get warm. Audrey Ziolkowski hasn't had heat all winter. As the temperature in her house dips below 60, hot chocolate is about the only recipe she has to try and beat the chill.

Ziolowski is a mother of one who works more than 40 hours a week trying to pay the bills. Her husband in the military just got called to Iraq. With not enough money to pay for heat, Jewkowski is now like many others asking for help.

"I never thought I would have to ask for help. It's humbling, but I have no other choice. I have a baby to think about," said Ziolowski.

Rockford Human Services has seen an influx of heating assistance applications in the past few days. Cold temperatures along with rising utility costs, means too many people out in the cold.

"We are seeing more people from different economic groups who need help," said Mark Bixby Rockford Human Services Director.

Area shelters are also feeling the impact of this cold spell, as many of the shelters have been at or near capacity.

"We had to turn people away because of this cold, said Kathy Dyrdahl, with the Red Cross.

So with temperatures expected to remain below freezing at night for some time, many people may have to come up with their own recipes to try and stay warm.


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