(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Warming centers and overnight shelters were ready for Tuesday night's plunging temperatures and icy wind chills. Agencies in St. Joseph collaborated to ensure anyone who needed a warm place to stay for the night had one.
On Tuesday night, temperatures reaching a low of -9 degrees and wind chills at -30 degrees made for deadly conditions. Experts said in conditions like that, it only takes 30 minutes to get frostbite. Agency leaders new the frigid conditions would bring more need for warming centers and overnight shelters around town.
The Salvation Army, 8th Street Drop in, My Brothers House, Crossing Campus, YWCA, and Community Missions prepared for the uptick in need a few days ahead of time.
"We've been talking all week as we knew this weather was coming about, we all tried to make sure that there was adequate space available for people to come in anywhere," said Randy Sharp of Community Missions.
"We called the other shelters to check in on how their numbers were to make sure they would have room in case we ran out, we ended up with a full shelter Tuesday night. We had 60 people. It was 15 women and 45 men, but we had known we were going to have more people so we had more staff Tuesday night as well," said Danny Gach, the Crossing Campus Executive Director, "We ended up sending a person to Community Missions so they would have a place to stay warm."
Sharp said there were also teams that went out to check for people on the streets and along the river.
"A group of people from our health team went out at night to see if anyone was out. They gave a few people rides to some of the shelters," said Sharp.
Agency leaders said Tuesday night was pretty successful all thanks to the collaboration with multiple agencies across St. Joseph.
"Everyone is working together on this, it's really a community coordinated effort, it feels great to be a part of this community effort that is working together to solve the same problems," said Gach.
As the weather continues to rise and fall, agency leaders said they'll be using the same models of communication to help all who need a place to stay and community services to get back on their feet.
- Shelters collaborate to keep people out of the cold
- Cold Weather Fills Local Homeless Shelter
- Cold Weather Shelters At Full Capacity
- Warming shelters open as bitter cold arrives
- Cold Weather Shelter Opens Early to Combat Freezing Temperatures
- Community Mission prepares to open cold weather shelter
- Mound City opens temporary shelter for people in need
- Mosaic, City of St. Joseph looking at collaboration to combat homelessness
- Crossing campus homeless shelter opens
- City supports downtown emergency shelter