KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UPDATE, Jan. 4 | Police identified the man as 41-year-old Scott Eicke and said the death is still being investigated as natural causes.
ORIGINAL STORY, Jan. 2 | The bitter cold weather took the life of a homeless man in Kansas City, Missouri in the first days of the new year.
“It’s just a tragedy. It shouldn’t have happened," said Lindsey Cattanach, of Free Hot Soup KC.
After hearing the news, people in Kansas City are demanding more help for the homeless population.
“We’re just really sad to hear that another one of our friends has passed and it was so preventable," Cattanach said. "I mean, it was something that as a community, we could come together and we could prevent it."
Temperatures were below freezing when Kansas City, Missouri, Police were called Friday night to East 24th Street and Woodland Avenue on reports of an unresponsive man.
“I pulled up to a camp where we go out on the weekends and help, and I just experienced some police there," Alina Heart said. "I kind of looked, and it looked OK and they were dealing with it and one of them walked over to me and asked if I knew one of the friends who died."
On Saturday, a KCPD spokesperson told 41 Action News they still are trying to contact relatives.
Friends said the man, known as "Sixx," died of hypothermia at the age of 41.
“People need the help and there’s so many barriers to get shelter that it’s hard," Kendra Lawrence said, "and you can’t -- sometimes you can’t get into a shelter."
Advocates said the city has a growing homeless population with few resources, even more so during a pandemic.
“I think there just needs to be more attention to how little resources we have," Sheila Gresham said, "especially during COVID, we have less room in the shelters for people."
Local places like Shelter KC have 62 beds, but a spokesperson told 41 Action News they reduced that number to 50 due to COVID-19.
If Shelter KC is full, they look to send people to other shelters and not just back out on the street, but still the need remains.
“People are scared," Cattanach said. "People are just really scared and not sure what to expect."