Springfield warming shelters still need volunteers; at risk of closing

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 8:59 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2022 at 10:32 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Warming centers in Springfield still need your help volunteering, especially with more cold weather coming to the region.

Grace United Methodist Church at 600 South Jefferson Avenue is now the permanent meal site, pick-up, and drop-off point, seven days a week.

The meal starts at 5:30 p.m., and City Utilities and the Community Partnership of the Ozarks shuttles can get people to the meal site. Shuttles going to warming shelters start at 6 p.m.

Ashley Quinn, a lead organizer for the warming shelters, said volunteering could change people’s lives.

“It is life-saving for folks who otherwise might be left out in the cold and on the streets,” said Quinn.

Quinn said most shelters ran smoothly, but low volunteers are still an issue.

“One night where one of the shelters couldn’t open because they didn’t have enough volunteers,” said Quinn.

Quinn said they filled 1,000 beds across the shelters in the past week and need volunteers to ensure they serve thousands more.

“We just need two people that are there across the whole overnight. Some shelters split that up,” said Quinn.

He said he didn’t know of any problems at any of the shelters with people who stayed because all they want is a bed to sleep in.

“Everybody is so grateful,” said Quinn. “Most folks are tired from a long day and have been standing out in the cold for part of it, as much as we try to avoid that.”

Quinn said you are never alone when you volunteer, and help is needed during all parts of the day.

“If you want to just come out for an evening, when we’re doing check-in and stuff like that, help with handing out hot cocoa or water or whatever, granola bars,” said Quinn. “You can always start there.”

Quinn said he hopes they never have to close down another shelter because even more are opening in the winter.

He said seeing how grateful the guests are when they are inside when outside it’s below freezing is the best feeling.

“When they get in here and get a cup of hot cocoa in them and get back and lay down on their cot, they’re happy to be there and to be inside and out of the cold,” said Quinn.

CLICK HERE for a list of warming shelters in Springfield.

CLICK HERE to volunteer for a warming shelter.

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