A 65-year old man was found dead Sunday morning on a sidewalk near the intersection of Montana Avenue and North 27th Street.
At about 7:30 a.m., Billings police responded to a report of a body discovered in front of St. Vincent de Paul's Montana Avenue office. The deceased man is believed to have been a transient and he was found by other people sleeping in the area, said Sgt. Shane Winden.
Winden said the man's cause of death is under investigation. Exposure and known health conditions are both possible factors. He had warm clothes and a sleeping bag with a low temperature rating.
The National Weather Service recorded temperatures as low as zero overnight at Billings Logan International Airport.
Montana Rescue Mission and the Community Crisis Center work with people facing hazardous conditions created by frigid temperatures. MRM typically does not accept people who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but when temperatures drop to dangerous levels the shelter eliminates barriers for those in need of a warm place to sleep.
Rev. Glenn Fournier, MRM's program director, said the shelter has operated under its "code blue" policy since October. Unfortunately not all people in need of a warm place to sleep seek out help and it can be difficult to convince people to come in off the street.
"There’s been men who have stayed with me in the past and chosen to go back out and passed away in the community," Fournier said.
In addition to a safe place out of the elements MRM provides guests with meals and help with basic hygiene. The women and children's shelter is located at 2520 First Ave. N., and the men's shelter is located at 2822 Minnesota Ave.