SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A large venue space opened in Springfield for people to get out of the winter weather.

The Expo Center started welcoming people on Thursday. Doors will once again open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served at the Expo Center. If visitors need somewhere to stay overnight, transportation to overnight shelters will be offered at the center at 5 p.m. and at the Grace United Methodist Church at 600 S. Jefferson Ave. at 5:30 p.m.

Organizers explained using the space as a day warming center isn’t usual, but it is necessary given the conditions.

“Amazing amount of people that came together to make the Expo Center happen,” said Christie Love, who is a pastor with The Connecting Grounds. “We were really concerned about daytime options for people, knowing that the Veterans Coming Home Center closes at 4:30. Knowing that our libraries were going to open later because of snow.”

Multiple homeless people told OzarksFirst they are very thankful to have somewhere to go.

The Veterans’ Coming Home Center is also acting as a day shelter. It will be open Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Teens can go to the new Youth Connect Center at 425 W. McDaniel St. #160 from 12:30-8 p.m. To stay overnight, people must sign up by 8 p.m.