CHICAGO (CBS) — Cold and coping go hand in hand today, especially for people who have no choice but to brave the arctic blast to live or work outdoors.

To walk along Broadway in Edgewater is to stroll along sidewalk that at times resembles the Arctic tundra.

If that’s not bad enough, Josh Curran has to walk up a ladder carrying 30-pound pieces of wood. He was working on a roofing job that just couldn’t wait; a tough job on the best of days, but downright brutal when temperatures are only in the teens.

“It’s pretty cold,” he said.

Meantime, crossing guard Nilsa Torres will spend 2 1/2 hours of her day making sure children and adults alike can safely cross Broadway. Torres laughed as she said she should get hazard pay on a day like this.

Torres said she gets through it with the right attitude and a lot of layers.

“I have two gloves on, I have my snowpants on, I have three pairs of socks,” she said.

Under nearby Lake Shore Drive, layers are not just a matter of comfort but a matter of survival for dozens of homeless who camp out in tents under the Lawrence Avenue viaduct.

Those who live there said they’re worried about their health in such brutal weather.

The plight of the homeless in Uptown could soon get worse. A 72-bed shelter at 941 W. Lawrence Av. is set to close two days before Christmas, because state funding has dried up amid the budget standoff.

Activist Andrew Holmes spent the night outside with the homeless in the Larence Avenue tent city to try and bring attention to the fact that just $100,000 could keep that shelter open through 2017.

If the shelter does not get that money, Holmes fears people will die.

“Some of them need to go to the hospital and get some treatment, and they can’t go, because they can’t pay for their medical,” he said.