The frigid weather has prompted some warming shelters to open, but there are some who are braving the cold weather outside in Akron's tent city.
“This is the only form of insulation I have for the door,” Tom Fongheiser, 23, said as he lifted a thin blanket over his tent. “I've actually got a mummy bag, a standard sleeping bag for the summertime and I've padding underneath it and padding on the top. It gets to about 45 to 50 degrees.”
Fognheiser has spent the past two months at Second Chance Village. He spent the previous four months out in the woods with little resources.
Most of the tents at Second Chance Village have been lifted from the ground with the use of wooden pallets, providing protection from the cold ground. Each tent is a little different in terms of how it's insulated, including one “experimental” tent.
“It's pretty much winter ready,” Fongheiser said. “They say it's very warm in there, stays between 50 and 60 degrees.”
The tent was made with a specific purpose, designed by the creators of WeatherHYDE. The team's mission is to develop new ways to provide shelter, keeping the needs of the homeless in mind for protection from extreme weather.
Some tents don't always hold up to extreme weather. Fongheiser said one tent collapsed following a winter storm.
“We're up to 32 people here right now and 27 tents,” said Fongheiser.
The Haven of Rest in Akron, just a few miles away from Second Chance Village, has issued a code zero. The shelter is reminding residents that they are open 24/7 for those looking for a warm place to stay.
Even if all the beds are filled, shelter officials said they will not turn anyone away as there are still plenty of bedding and blankets available.