Heartland shelters see increase in those needing help due to cold weather

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 4:33 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The cold weather can be deadly for people who do not have a warm place to stay.

So, does another night below freezing mean more people are seeking shelter?

”We are always full and there’s always a waiting list,” said Joel Evans, president for Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation in Sikeston.

He said they have 13 families and other individuals waiting for availability in these six units.

“Because our capacity is so low, we do see a lot of folks that come in that we are not able to shelter here. We do have some other emergency resources that we can use, and we do provide hygiene items and food for those that do come that we can’t house,” said Evans.

Just a few blocks away, you can find an open cot at the warming center run by Spread Hope Now.

“When the temperatures get this cold there’s usually a bump for sure then, but it’s not been as bad as we thought it would be this year with these cold temperatures, board member,” Darren Johnson said.

He said they open the warming center when temperatures reach 32 degrees or below.

“They come in hungry, cold, ready to eat and we get them a good meal and then we get the cots out and they spend the night and then we get up the next morning have a good breakfast and then they leave for the day,” said Johnson.

Back at DAEOC, Evans said it’s important for people to having a safe place to stay, especially at night.

“Homeless is always a tough situation but when the weather where it’s impossible to stay outdoors it really creates a danger for those that are homeless and not able to find a place that’s designed for safe to inhabit,” Evans said.

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