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Churches, Volunteers Open Emergency Overnight Warming Shelters

Liz West
Flickr via Creative Commons

Two emergency overnight shelters have opened in Springfield for homeless people seeking safety from dangerously cold weather. 

Both are located in churches.  

The men’s cold weather shelter is inside East Sunshine Church of Christ, located at 3721 East Sunshine Street. 

And the women’s shelter is at Grace United Methodist Church, located at 600 S. Jefferson Avenue.

According to the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, which serves the area’s homeless population, the overnight shelters only open on nights when the National Weather Service forecast predicts the temperature will be at or below 32 degrees.

Temperatures plummeted Monday to sub-freezing digits by mid-afternoon across the Ozarks, accompanied by a wintry mix of precipitation. According to the NWS, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing all day Tuesday.   The shelters are not open during the daytime.

IDs and background checks are not required at either emergency overnight shelter, according to CPO.

Doors to the men’s shelter open at 8:00 PM except for Monday and Wednesday, when they open around 8:30 PM.   The women’s shelter opens at 9:00 PM, according to CPO.

Before the shelters open, The Connecting Grounds, a non-denominational church located at 1109 East Commercial Street, is open as a warming site from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  According to a Facebook account for The Connecting Grounds, many homeless struggle with the choice of whether to stay outdoors with their beloved pets or to leave their animals behind and seek shelter. 

City Utilities provides transportation from The Connecting Grounds to the shelters each evening.

The emergency shelters are staffed by volunteers.   For more information, you can click here.