Baltimore (WJZ)–  While most of Baltimore is staying indoors and away from the cold air, one local group says they’re working late tonight to make sure those who don’t have a home are staying warm.

As temperatures plunge across Maryland, people are bundling up inside.

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But staying indoors isn’t always an option for the homeless.

“They do not need to be out on the streets tonight,” said Faneca Porter with the mayor’s office of human services.

Porter drove around Baltimore helping those who are living outside find shelter.

The Maryland Department of Health said that there have been 17 deaths related to cold weather across the state this winter.

Porter said that she’s making it her mission to make sure no one else becomes a victim.

“We are in freezing temps,” said Porter. “deathly cold freezing temps. So we have made it our business to do this.”

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City officials declared a code blue emergency until Friday and doctors are warning people to stay out of the arctic air.

“The best thing to do, if you can, is to stay inside,” said Helen Gordon, a doctor at St. Joseph Medical Center. “If you have to go outside, wear a lot of warm clothing. Bundle up and stay warm and then come back in when you can.”

But some are forced to work in it, fixing water main breaks.

“It started shooting everywhere,” said homeowner, Pat Romeo. “as you can see the frozen lines,” referring to the one just outside her Dundalk home that had left her basement underwater.

“You got to be kidding me. I was like ‘oh my god,'” she said.

Because of the extreme temperatures, officials have said that until Feb. 3, five Baltimore shelters have expanded their hours for anyone who needs a warm place to stay.

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Kelsey Kushner