- A viral post by Callhim Chalant claims 15 homeless people were found froze to death in Chicago
- The image in Chalant’s post is from Toronto in 2013
- According to the CDC you are more likely to die in extreme cold weather than extreme hot
A post going viral on Facebook claims 15 homeless people were found frozen to death in Chicago. The claim appears to be a mix of truth and fiction, as even the image with the post was taken in Canada.
On Saturday, Callhim Chalant posted an image to his Facebook of a homeless man sleeping on the pavement with snow on the ground. Chalant claims 15 homeless people were found frozen to death with no backstory or explanation where this number is coming from. Instead, Chalant tells people to forget about arguing over the wall, Nancy Pelosi, and those new Jordan’s you want and be grateful for what you have.
15 homeless people in Chicago found frozen to death. Take a moment and think about incredibly lucky you are right now. Forget about Trumps wall, Pelosi’s movement, the Jordan’s you want, the new purse you want.
For a moment, think about how fortunate and blessed you are. How blessed we are. #Trillion
Running a search for homeless people freezing to death in Chicago brings up nothing in recent weeks. In fact, the last time anything related to someone freezing to death in Chicago is from January 1, 2018. An article from MTO claims the man froze to death while waiting for a train the night before. Last week, 12-year-old Esther Jung died in Chicago after a snow fort collapsed on her. The cause of death was said to be asphyxia and hypothermia.
Along with no reports of 15 homeless people freezing to death in the Chicago area, the image Chalant used was not take in Chicago. The image appears to have first appeared on The National Post on January 22, 2013. According to the National Post the photo was taken in Toronto. The description of the photo reads as follows.
A homeless man is covered in snow while sleeping on the Bay Street sidewalk in Toronto’s Financial District, as temperatures dip to -25 degrees with windchill on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
Just because Chalant’s post may not be accurate, it is still a real issue. For example, this week a man in Springfield died behind a Waffle House of hypothermia. The man is believed to have been homeless. Greene County Medical Examiner Tom Van De Berg believed the man had died of hypothermia a few days before being found in a wooded area behind the Waffle House located at Kansas Expressway and Interstate 44.
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In 2016, the first hypothermia-related death of the season in Chicago was on October 26. At least 26 other deaths from hypothermia followed, bringing the years total to 27. By January 7, 2018, there had been a total of seven deaths from hypothermia in Cook County.
At the beginning of 2018, an extreme cold front was responsible for at least nine deaths across the country. During that period, reports of people dying from hypothermia came from Missouri, Wisconsin, Milwaukee, North Dakota, among other areas.
According to the CDC, more people die from extreme cold weather than they do from extremely hot weather. Between 1999 and 2011, there were 16,911 deaths attributed to hypothermia, with the average yearly deaths being 1,301. During this period, 2010 held the highest deaths with 1,536, and 2006 holding the lowest at 1,058. The data claimed 67% of deaths from hypothermia were males.
While there does not seem to be a system set up to track hypothermia deaths specifically in the homeless community, the CDC did note that “weather-related death rates were 2 to 7 times as high in low-income counties as in high-income counties.”