SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — While many people are focused on the summer heat, area churches are preparing for the cold and how they’ll care for the unsheltered.
Area church leaders said prepping for cold weather shelters starts months in advance.
In collaboration with others, the Asbury United Methodist Church in Springfield is deciding whether they will host a shelter this season.
Pastor Erika Gravely said three other area churches have opened shelters in the past and are looking to partner with a location closer to downtown Springfield.
“Brentwood Christian, National Avenue Christian, and Unitarian Universalist,” Gravely said. “They had to bus the unsheltered population from downtown to their locations.”
She said the three churches would combine with Asbury United Methodist Church to provide one large shelter in a better location.
“The homeless unsheltered population rate in Springfield is very high,” Gravely said.
Gravely said they are hoping to provide a place to stay for 40 to 50 people a night.
“We have the space to shelter people,” Gravely said.
She said they want to provide shelter to the LGBTQ population, couples, and people with dogs.
Before making a decision, Gravely said they want to consult with the community. She said they want to make sure those living near the church are okay with the project.
The church is holding another town hall meeting about the possible shelter on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.