Cold weather shelter open extra days due to extreme drop in temps

Cold weather shelter open extra days due to extreme drop in temps

Credit: Getty Images

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Paul (no surname given) begs on the streets of Liverpool during the cold snap on December 21, 2010 in Liverpool, England. Paul has been living on the streets for three weeks and says he has no choice as all the homeless hostels in the area are full due to the freezing conditions. Paul was hoping to raise enough cash to spend a night in a bed and breakfast the cost of which is normally out his reach. To get warm he spends his time on public transport moving around the city. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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by Adam McDonald, KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 9:25 PM

(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.

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