(KMOV) -- The Emergency Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights this week at the 12th and Park Rec Center starting at 6:30 p.m. to provide protection from extreme cold for citizens.
This marks the 28th night of operation for the center and costs approximately $1,000.00 to operate the shelter each day.
“I am convinced that without this important resource for our city’s most vulnerable the potential for fatalities from this extreme cold would have been very likely,” Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff said. “We are fortunate that that has not been the case.”
The city and its partners have provided more than 2300 meals and beds since December 5.
“We simply will not close the Overflow Shelter on dangerously cold nights,” Mayor Francis Slay said. “While this year’s demand has exceeded last year, providing shelter is a priority and will continue.”
The city’s Human Services Department had originally budgeted for twenty shelter nights based on last winter’s experience, but this winter is proving to be much more extreme. Human Services identified additional Emergency Solution Grant funds to continue operating the shelter for a total of 30 days; although, at this rate, the city is certain that it will exhaust those additional funds before winter is over.