Shelters open up for homeless early due to freezing temperatures in forcast

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Temperatures could drop below freezing, meaning the homeless will need a place to escape the cold.

There is one crisis cold weather shelter open due to the forecast.

These cold weather shelters could mean the difference between life and death as temperatures go below 32 degrees.

The Community Partnership of the Ozarks has two standard crisis cold weather overnight shelters for men and women over the age of 18.

“The volunteers are hyper vulnerable for COVID, so that has really impacted their ability to serve because of that volunteer shortage, and additionally because of health and safety guidelines with social distancing, they have reduced capacity as well,” said Amanda Stalder, the continuum of care coordinator at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks.

The shelters typically open on Nov. 1, but are opening earlier this year due to the weather.

The men’s shelter is located at East Sunshine Church of Christ and the women’s shelter is at Grace Methodist Church.

One extra men’s shelter is open only on Oct. 29 at the Doling Elementary School building.

masks and spacing and cleaning guidelines are required at the shelters.

Because of COVID-19, the shelters are at limited capacity right now, so Community Partnership of the Ozarks said they are in critical need of volunteers right now.

“As it drops below 32 degrees, hypothermia, there’s a whole lot of health problems that happen when you’re trying to sleep on concrete on the ground outside,” said Chris Rice, manager of the Veterans Coming Home Center. “Volunteering, whether that’d be donating good, donating money, donating time, donating prayers, everything, we have to act because people could die.”

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the East Sunshine location is not able to accept walk-ins.

To learn more about how to volunteer and how to donate, visit www.cpozarks.org/coldweather.

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