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Two homeless men froze to death on Christmas night, Bibb coroner says

Coroner Leon Jones says one of the men was found under an I-75 overpass

MACON, Ga. — Bibb Coroner Leon Jones says two homeless men froze to death on Christmas Day in Macon.

He identified the two men as 61-year-old Larry Howard and 63-year-old Manuel Foster, and said their cause of death was hypothermia.

Jones says someone found Howard in an abandoned apartment while Foster was found under an I-75 overpass.

Sister Theresa Sullivan, the director of the Daybreak Center in Macon, says the Salvation Army is at capacity and they’ve received an overflow of blankets, hats and gloves for people.

"I wake up in the morning and check my phone every morning to see what the weather is because I fear how our people are responding in the cold," said Sullivan. “We must continue. We must continue to figure out how we can address these issues even in the midst of obstacles."

She says they’re currently setting up an outdoor space with heaters for the winter. She says it should be open in the next month.

Charles Pope, the men's shelter director with the Salvation Army, says they have to follow the CDC guidelines.

"I have a lot of sympathy for what took place, especially in 2020, a year where so much stuff has happened and COVID has affected a lot of us in different ways," said Pope.

Pope says they normally have a capacity for about 120 people; split into sections for men, families, and veterans. He says with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, they've had to turn people away.

Both Sullivan and Pope say they are working with county leaders to do more to help people during the frigid winter months.

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