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Florida Ham Radio Club Aids Homeless During Cold Snap

01/15/2018

Uncharacteristically cold weather in east-central Florida in early January prompted members of the North Brevard Amateur Radio Club (K4NBR) to assist the area’s homeless. The New Year began with a bitter cold front descending upon Central Florida, bringing temperatures that hovered around freezing. Such conditions can be especially concerning for those lacking regular shelter from the elements. NBARC members Ricky DeLuco, K4JTT; Robert Ortiz, KJ4VEH; William Klosowski, K4SVT, and Michael Ellixon, KE4MWZ, set out in their own vehicles, searching the city of Titusville for homeless residents. For the next two evenings, and using Amateur Radio as communications, the group worked in the cold, wet weather for more than 12 hours, logging some 120 miles on the roads around Titusville.

The Disabled American Veteran Center in Titusville had opened its doors as a cold weather shelter and offered a warm place to sleep and eat. The ham radio group alerted local law enforcement, so they were aware of the effort and in the hope that on-duty officers also might reach out. The group was able to locate five homeless individuals on its first evening tour of the town and provide them with transportation out of the cold. Local police also contacted the team to help and to provide transportation for other homeless individuals located by on-duty officers.

One additional homeless person located late on the first night had a need for immediate medical attention and was transported to a local hospital.

Within the ARRL Southern Florida Section, NBARC is an ARRL-affiliated community service organization and is involved in several area events. It also provides back-up communication for Parrish Hospital, as needed. — Thanks to Ricky DeLuco, K4JTT

 



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