SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Cold weather shelters in Springfield are trying to do what they can with limited resources. 

“We’ve got a decreased capacity from what we had previously, but we’ve got a much larger population that’s in need,” Christie Love with The Connecting Grounds said. 

Many shelters are working hard to help hundreds of people stay safe Friday night as they open for the first time this winter season.  

“We have about 2,442 people that qualify as homeless in Springfield,” Love said. “About 800 of those are strictly on the streets, in camps. We only have about 160 cold weather shelter beds.” 

“It’s going to be very, very cold tonight and it’s going to be very cold, under freezing temperatures for the foreseeable future,” Ashley Quinn, a coordinator for cold weather crisis shelters said. 

Ozarksfirst spoke to one man who’s going to a shelter Friday night and said the city can do more to help. 

“I think they’re pretty much only attacking the homeless people right now. They don’t want the homeless people here whatsoever,” Kevin Holcomb said. 

Love and Quinn also think more can be done. 

“I think the city would tell you that they’re not really in the service business,” Love said. “The city has delegated much of the service, providing to nonprofits, to churches, to volunteers.” 

“We need congregate shelter options that are more permanent and can last throughout at least throughout the five or six months of the winter season,” Quinn added. 

Holcomb says the winter elements can take a toll. He says there’s not much they’re asking for, aside from help. 

“Pray for us. We need your prayers for us. There’s a lot of conflict going on among homeless people, you know, and we all need to pull together tighter to make it through all the struggle we’re all going through.”