2 homeless die in past weeks on streets of Springfield; pastor wants solutions

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Within the past week, two homeless people have died on the streets of Springfield.

"Currently, I stay under overpasses, little cubbyholes just to try and stay warm, and just to make sure I survive," said Johnan Flynn.

Johnah Flynn says she became homeless after a terrible break-up. She says suffering from mental health issues has played a roll in why she lives on the streets.

"I could have done better for my self, but love blinded me, like they say, love can make you do some stupid stuff," said Flynn.

Flynn says she faces hardships daily, but there is nothing like losing a friend to the streets, especially when she says it could have been prevented.

"It has been rough, but to be honest what makes it rougher is knowing there is going to be more," said Christie Love.

Christie Love is the Pastor at Connecting Grounds in North Springfield. She says she has spent the week consoling her unsheltered friends about the recent losses.

"I have grown men that sit in this building, on a nightly basis and cry because they are terrified of going to sleep and not waking up," said Love.

Love says poverty and homelessness numbers are constantly increasing, she says while Springfield is full of resources, there are really no solutions.

"We need more drug addiction programs, we need more mental health resources, we need more shelters beds here in the Ozarks," said Love.

Love says if people would take the time to volunteer and get to know the person behind the cardboard sign, then we can begin to find the true solutions.

"When you sit down with a guy who society would look at as nothing but a problem, multiple felons, homeless, history of drug addiction but you sit down with him and you hear that his dad introduced him to dope at 14," said Love.

"People just need to open up their hearts instead of being heartless," said Flynn.

Greene county signed a contract with Burrell Health for the construction of a 24-hour Behavioral Crisis Center to help with mental issues. Love says she is looking forward to working with the center to hopefully get help for some of her people.