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Fundraiser tonight will help combat homelessness in Christian County

A bed with a stuffed rabbit and pillows
Michal Dziekonski
A bed with a stuffed rabbit and pillows

The fundraiser, Hot Soup, Cold Nights, will help pay for hotel rooms for those without shelter.

Christian County Homeless Alliance has sheltered a total of 38 individuals by using donations from their annual fundraiser.

Emily Fessler, continuum of care coordinator at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, said they have seen families experience homelessness in Christian County.

“In the 2021 and 2022 school year there were 293 students that were identified as experiencing homelessness in Christian County," said Fessler. "When you think about those 293 students, those are families, so there are a lot of families that end up having to couch surf or end up in doubled-up situations. Some of them are experiencing unsheltered homelessness.”

Christian County Homeless Alliance is a working committee of the CPO’s Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness, which is a plan to assist the homeless by using services and funding in Springfield and in Christian and Webster Counties.

“When we talk about homelessness in Christian County, it looks very different than what homelessness looks like in Springfield or Greene County,” said Fessler. “One of the activities that Christian County Homeless Alliance does is they have funds for hoteling.”

The alliance’s annual fundraiser will raise money for unsheltered people in Christian County who need a hotel room. The fundraiser, Hot Soup, Cold Nights, is from 6 to 8 and will feature a collection of soups donated by local business owners and individuals. Attendees can taste-test and vote on their favorite soups.

Throughout the night, attendees will also have the chance to learn from different local agencies about their contribution to help the alliance combat homelessness. Those include Burrell Behavioral Health, Ozark, Nixa and Spokane Public Schools and I Pour Life. Attendees can also view and bid on items during the fundraiser’s silent auction.

“It’s a really great way for individuals in the community, local government officials, neighbors and community members to get a better understanding of what their neighbors are going through and to have a conversation about it,” said Fessler.

The fundraiser will start at 6 Friday night, February 2, at Redeemer Lutheran Church at 911 West Mount Vernon Street in Nixa and is open to the public.