MADISON (WKOW) — As the frigid temperatures prove deadly in parts of the Midwest, police officers and volunteers are making sure some of Madison’s most vulnerable stay alive during the polar vortex.

“We knew it was life or death,” said Jeff Turk, a volunteer and the communications director of Friends of the State Street Family, a non-profit that helps the homeless.

The organization has ramped up its efforts as volunteers check-in on those who have nowhere warm to sleep.

“I mean you’re going to die if you’re out in the elements and not protected,” said Turk.

Turk and others who do welfare checks try to persuade the homeless to seek refuge overnight in the city’s shelters. With the cold temperatures, all overnight shelters will make room for everyone and won’t turn people away.

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