SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield City Council developed a solution for ongoing obstacles homeless individuals face.
Almost $100,000 was approved in emergency funding to provide more cold weather shelters.
A big chunk of the money, $60,000, will go towards 10 teardrop campers at the Revive 66 Campground for unsheltered people to stay on a cold night.
The rest of the money will be put towards leasing additional space to serve as cold-weather shelters and paying volunteers who work in the shelters overnight.
Springfield city manager Jason Gage said the city chose the safest options, although some said it’s not the most practical.
“Because when we’re talking about nights like last night, it wasn’t below 32 degrees, so we had an additional 100 people who were back on the street last night because crisis cold weather shelters were not open,” said Christie Love, pastor at The Connecting Grounds.
Love said she would rather see the money be used for longer-lasting initiatives.
“We are seeing 250 people that are not able to access cold weather shelters and so that number of people, when you talk about the fact that we’re only talking about 10 additional campers that are being purchased with this money it’s just, comparatively it’s not going to help the vast majority of people who are still outside on the streets,” said Love.
Gage and Love said there is an immediate need and the funding will make an impact.
When the campground is finished, people at The Gathering Tree said about 50 people could stay there each night, along with two or three volunteers.
Gage said the campers cost $10 a night but will be paid for by local non-profits.