Homeless brave the outdoors despite cold weather

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Despite the cold some are choosing to brave the outdoors rather than spend the night in a shelter.

"I believe this is the coldest since I've been to Cincinnati," says Meiugia McKinney.

McKinney's home has two tents to sleep in and one is storage for clothes. McKinney says they have pretty much everything they need.

"Firewood, can goods, water, cleaning supplies and water and milk," says McKinney.

But why spend night after night in these extremely cold temperatures? McKinney says it's because the shelters have too many rules and regulations.

"The Drop-In Center do not allow couples to be together so everybody is a couple and you can't be with your mate," explains McKinney.

McKinney says it's just a matter of bundling up with blankets to keep warm. He and his girlfriend sometimes go to the warming center, but that too can be a hassle.

"They kick you out early in the morning. At night they open up at 9:30 and you got to get out at 5:30 a.m. and you out there in the cold and the freezing so hey why not we'll just build our tents," says McKinney.

Many churches recognize there's people that make this choice. So Pastor Vince delivers items once a week to the homeless, including McKinney.

"We take them food, blankets, something hot to drink but most importantly we're trying to bring them the gospel and the hope that comes in knowing Jesus," says Pastor Vince.

"I thank God every day for them," says McKinney.

Pastor Vince says they help homeless people in different spots throughout the city.

"It's more blessed to give than to receive and you'll find that man, when you come out here and you bless someone who has absolutely no potential of blessing you in return, there's something really beautiful about that," explains Vince.

The forecast doesn't show any relief in the near future, and for McKinney, spring can't come soon enough.

"Shoot, I wish it would hurry up and come today," adds McKinney.

McKinney says he has many other homeless friends who also decide to live outside despite these temperatures.

He says the coldest part of the day for them is around four in the morning, but they try and light fires as often as possible to stay warm.

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