New location for women's warming shelter in Springfield

By  | 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo The Council of Churches now has a permanent location for its women's warming shelter for cold nights.

They moved the warming shelter to Grace United Methodist Church on south Jefferson avenue near downtown.

Friday was the second night for the new location.

Organizers and the women who will be using the shelter think that the new location will bring even more women through the doors.

"It seems like we are open about half of the nights." said Nancy Crawford, Council of Churches coordinator for the women's warming shelters.

Any night that drops below freezing, Grace United Methodist Church will open its doors for women who need a place to sleep.

Jennie Maresh stayed at Grace United the first night they were open.

"I liked it a lot because the buses are a lot closer than they used to be." said Maresh.

11 women stayed the night on Thursday night, which is actually the most they have ever had in one night.

"We need to rescue these people that are out there that don't know about places like this." Maresh said.

"I think a lot of women especially if they have a partner, they don't want to leave their partner to go into a shelter. There are some people that just won't come into shelter." said Crawford.

She is hoping that the new location will change that.

"This is much more conveniently located for our ladies." said Crawford. "There are a lot of services available for them in this area. There is One Door, there is the transit center, there is the veteran's coming home center where they can get meals and hang out."

"It is downtown and a lot of people do hang out downtown. It is easy access so if they are just out in downtown, they can go over there because it is only like five blocks away." said Maresh.

Grace United Methodist Church does not provide food or showers.

"We really are a bare bones shoestring operation. I am the employee but I have about 40 volunteers." said Crawford. "They volunteer their time to stay here overnight 10 hours and 15 minutes. It is a huge ask and I am so grateful for the people who are willing to do it."

If you need a place to stay and aren't sure where to go, you can call the Council of Churches hotline at 417-379-7332 and it will have all of the warming locations that are open.

The Church of Christ on East Sunshine is the Council of Churches men's shelter.