ST. LOUIS – As extreme cold hits the St. Louis region, it can be even more dangerous for those living on the streets.
Advocacy groups and volunteers are battling the elements to get as many people inside as possible. It’s been an uphill battle to make sure the homeless community doesn’t suffer out in the cold Thursday night.
City Hope, which works to shelter homeless in west St. Louis, has five city-funded locations. Their biggest location has 40 beds, and 37 are already filled.
“A member of my church saw me sleeping in a tent, and she brought me here. She found a place for me to get out of the cold because she told me it was going to get low in the negatives,” said homeless guest, Sheronda Glover. “It’s been so much fun, warm, comfortable.”
At the start of the month, shelters went back to pre-pandemic levels, adding more beds resources and staying up 24-7 like city hope. Due to the increased capacity, the city stopped their warming bus this year.
Homeless advocacy groups are out on the streets this week, going into overdrive with the added need to help the most vulnerable amid the brutal cold.
“You go to these places, and you check on them, and you pray that the people you’ve been working with regularly, you don’t find them dead,” said Larry Rice, a homeless advocate with New Life Evangelistic Church. “They’ve found people that have passed on in vacant buildings by doing this work before, they’ve found people that have died, and we’re trying to prevent that from happening.”
City officials encourage anyone looking for shelter to call 211, and they will help you find a place to stay.
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