Shelters collaborate to keep people out of the cold

Warming centers and overnight shelters alike were busy but 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.

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 7:09 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2019 8:05 AM

(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. 

Article Comments

Saint Joseph
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Maryville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Savannah
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Cameron
Scattered Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 65°
Fairfax
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Overnight, expect a quiet night with partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will fall into the lower 60s. For Tuesday, we are tracking our next storm system that could give us a better chance of showers and storms, especially late afternoon into the evening.
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