PUEBLO, Colo. — Two homeless men in Pueblo are dead following record-breaking frigid temperatures. An official cause of death has not been ruled yet.
Earlier FOX21 reported the Pueblo Mayor’s Office believed one of the deaths was cold-related, but they are now referring questions to the Pueblo County Coroner’s office.
According to the Pueblo County Coroner’s Office, on Monday afternoon, Jimmy Aguilar was found dead near the Arkansas River. The Coroner’s Office said Aguilar was homeless.
A second person, Jimmy Niles was found dead Tuesday near I-25, the Coroner’s Office said a previous address of Niles is known, but at the time of his death he was considered homeless.
“We always want to do more but the problem is how do we reach these individuals,” said John Rodriguez with the Pueblo Mayor’s Office.
Due to high demand, the City of Pueblo opened an emergency warming shelter to keep it’s most vulnerable population safe.
Through federal dollars, the City was able to give out 350 cold relief kits to the Pueblo Rescue Mission
“There’s no perfect soliton to homelessness but we were proactive in giving these individuals some necessity so on cool nights they can survive and on cold nights they can come to the shelters,” said Rodriguez.
The Pueblo Rescue Mission said they were busy during the cold snap and at one point had to open up their floor as a warming shelter but no one was turned away.
“There are some people who live on the streets and that will never come in and go into a warming shelter,” said Kathy Cline with the Pueblo Rescue Mission.
With the exception of a few bunks, Cline said the demand for the shelter is high and they are full most of the time. With the ongoing pandemic, Cline said social distancing is hard to enforce but other guidelines like mask-wearing and sanitization are followed.
“It’s a team effort,” Cline added.
Pueblo’s Mayors Office said there are no plans to open up a permeant warming shelter at this time.
“I think we will think of it on a case by case scenario,” said Rodriguez.