PONTIAC (WWJ) -- Winter weather is here and that means increased danger for the homeless. One homeless man was found dead on a Pontiac front porch on New Year's Day.
58-year-old Mickie "Red" Roquemore is believed to have frozen to death in the 15 degree overnight temperature. Elizabeth Kelly, Executive Director at HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center -- where Roquemore often stayed -- said that he was reliant on alcohol.
"Reliance on alcohol is a problem for many people who are homeless -- it's a way to cope with a really stressful situation," Kelly said. "Unfortunately, that be comes a deadly situation when somebody drinks too much and they sit down or lay down and pass out, then things happen and cold overtakes them."
While Roquemore's death remains under investigation, Kelly reminded that this time of year is particularly dangerous.
"If people do see someone who is homeless and perhaps just sitting around, it's probably a good idea to alert the police," Kelly said. "Homeless shelters in particular don't usually go out and pick up somebody, but the authorities would be able to assess to see if they needed to be brought somewhere for safety."
Anyone who sees a homeless person outside is asked to alert police who will direct them to safety.
"He was a very proper person and very well-spoken," Kelly said. "Even his clothes -- he was very meticulous about it. We used to joke about it with him because the one thing that we do is that when people come into the shelter for safety reasons we search belongings and we pat them down. With Mickie he would say ' don't touch the fabric.'"
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