At least six persons have died in the District after exposure to cold temperatures since November, and the weather is being blamed as a contributing factor in two other deaths among Washington's homeless "street people," D.C. Medical Examiner James L. Lukes said yesterday. Lukes confirmed the eight cold-related deaths as Washington recorded its second day of below-average temperatures and frigid winds with only moderate relief in sight. Temperatures today are expected to reach a high of 34 to 38 degrees, compared with a normal high of 43.
The Community for Creative Non-Violence has accused the city of reneging on a promise to provide additional shelters for the homeless.
Four CCNV members were arrested yesterday after a protest on the steps of the District Building, during which a small group of demonstrators poured a red liquid they claimed was human blood in sections of the structure.
CCNV official Justin Brown and CCNV director Mitch Snyder said D.C. Mayor Marion Barry had reneged on a promise to provide additional shelters. The city has provided two school buildings in Northeast Washington as shelters.
District officials said plans for additional shelters, including one in Southeast Washington, were put aside since most "street people" were refusing the city's offer of free transportation to the shelters.
But Snyder said more shelter must be provided "in all areas of the city" and the atmosphere inside the shelters must be made less oppressive.