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Bitter cold drives homeless to shelters

Some homeless men found space on the floor of a Pine Street Inn facility, and other shelters also faced overflow crowds as the temperature outside fell Thursday night.
Some homeless men found space on the floor of a Pine Street Inn facility, and other shelters also faced overflow crowds as the temperature outside fell Thursday night. Credit: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

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The temperature hovered in the high teens outside the Pine Street Inn as dozens of men clustered for warmth in the spartan lobby. Some played cards Thursday, others fingered dominoes, but most of the homeless simply sat quietly at long tables, staring down at their hands or looking blankly into space.

The blame can be laid on the bitter cold, which is upending and rearranging life across the region. The extreme temperatures, expected to reach single digits in Boston by Friday morning, have pushed thousands of homeless men and women to crowded shelters like the Pine Street Inn, caused a raft of delays in public transportation, and kept countless people penned indoors and out of frostbite’s way.

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