SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Community groups say the homeless crisis that existed in Springfield before the pandemic is still ongoing.
Meleah Spencer of The Kitchen says these organizations remain essential, despite CDC guidelines forcing them to change the way they serve.
“Imagine being told to shelter-in-place or go into self-isolation and not having a proper place to do that at,” said Spencer.
Spencer says their goal is to continue serving.
“We have nearly 300 individuals in housing since January 1st of this year,” said Spencer.
She says more than one-third of those people are under the age of 18 and says the non-profit is working to identify clients at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“We’re looking at things like age or any other health barriers that they have,” said Spencer.
She says check-ins with their clients do look a bit different.
“We’re using a lot of technology and over-the-phone check-ins,” said Spencer.
The Kitchen’s Rare Breed Outreach Center remains open.
“For many of them this is the only place they can come and take a shower so we’re continuing to provide that.,” said Spencer.
Victory Mission is also adjusting the way it serves.
“We are the largest men’s homeless shelter in Southwest Missouri,” said Outreach Coordinator Janelle Reed.
Reed says the group can continue housing all of its current clients after some adjusting to meet current guidelines.
Reed says the non-profit isn’t asking for volunteers at this time but needs food donations.
Both Spencer and Reed say they appreciate continued community support.