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NYC Officials Searching For Homeless As Temps Drop To Dangerous Lows

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Outreach teams have fanned out across New York City in search of homeless people at risk of freezing to death as the temperatures drop near or below freezing.

More than 400 vacant beds are available for single adults, Department of Homeless Services officials said Thursday.  The department said it had provisions for more beds if necessary.

New Yorkers are hunkering down as a snowstorm predicted to bring inches of snow and strong, frigid wind slams the area.

DHS guarantees shelter when temperatures reach or go below freezing.  Mayor Bill de Blasio said wind chills could bring temperatures to as low as 10 degrees below zero.

Shelter can be a matter of life and death on extremely cold nights such as these, said Coalition for the Homeless Senior Policy Analyst Patrick Markee.

City officials said heated buses will be roaming the city looking for people out on the streets.

Police and EMS workers also are on the lookout for anyone in need of a warm place to stay.

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