Cops: Wallkill homeless man may have frozen to deathPosted: Updated:
The cold weather may be to blame for the death of a homeless man, who was found inside a makeshift shelter in Wallkill, police say.
According to the medical examiner's office, 39-year-old Brian Hoover, formerly from Port Jervis, may have frozen to death in the woods behind the Hannaford Supermarket.
Hoover is not alone. Department of Social Services Commissioner David Jolly says in November 2008, the number of homeless people in Orange County reached a five-year high.
?The economy really has put more people at risk, and we're here to say: ?Please, come in so we can offer some assistance,?? Jolly says.
The Department of Social Services is offering emergency housing with rooms for families and single adults. According to the commissioner, there are on average 161 people who have been seeking shelter each night this year, compared to 80 people in 2007.
In addition to offering housing, the county also runs vocational programs, where people can learn skills that would allow them to find a job and get back on the feet.