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Cold Weather Shelters Offer Overnight Stay for Springfield Homeless

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Gary Knight via flickr, CC BY 2.0
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The temperature is plummeting to extremely cold levels this week.  On nights when the temperature drops below freezing, cold weather shelters in Springfield open for the homeless so they aren’t exposed to the elements and the dangerous cold.

When the temperature reaches 32 degrees or below, the East Sunshine Church of Christ serves as a cold weather shelter for men. There are many spots throughout the city that are pickup locations which provide transportation to the overnight shelter.

 

Michele Delcoure, a spokeswoman for Council of Churches of the Ozarks, says when the men’s shelter opens, the Council’s cold weather shelter for women also opens.

 

The women’s shelter is located at the corner of Chestnut and Glenstone.

 

Dirk Rowe, outreach chaplain for Victory Mission, says that his organization has its own men's shelter but also coordinates with both the Community Partnership of the Ozarks and the Council of Churches of the Ozarks to refer those seeking shelter from the cold to the East Sunshine location

 

“Unfortunately, someone just passed away recently from being out in the elements at night. So it’s a life and death situation literally,” Rowe said.

 

The men’s cold weather shelter is at 3721 East Sunshine Street and the women’s is at 627 N. Glenstone Avenue.

 

Shelter needs

Deron Smith, lead minister at the East Sunshine Church of Christ, told KSMU the overnight shelter needs several items:  gloves, scarves, stocking caps, and men’s white tube socks.  The shelter also needs peanut butter and pillowcases, Smith said.  Those donations can be dropped off at the East Sunshine Church of Christ.

Volunteers are also needed;  those interested in volunteering their time at the shelter can call 417-889-5455.

Transportation

Free transportation is provided to and from the men’s cold weather shelter on the nights it is open.  According to Adam Bodenbieck of Community Partnership of the Ozarks, a shuttle will run every night the shelter is open.  The shuttle is available the following times:

·         On nights that the men’s shelter is open, except Saturdays, the pickup location is at Victory Square, 1610 N. Broadway.  Most nights, the pickup time is 7 PM; on Monday and Wednesday nights, the pickup time is closer to 8 PM, Bodenbieck said.

·         On Saturday when the men’s shelter is open, the pickup place is Freeway Ministries at 739 W. Talmage.

The men’s shelter also provides transportation in the morning for overnight residents – it drops people off at the Veterans Coming Home site in central Springfield.

Currently, there is no transportation to and from the women’s shelter.