ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – St. Louis City officials opened a downtown emergency shelter Tuesday night, the first time it has been offered all season.
The city has set-up the shelter, located at 1410 South Tucker Blvd., due to the unusually large number of homeless people seeking someplace warm for the night.
“Potentially, someone could die in these kind of conditions,” said Bill Siedhoff, the Director of the Department of Human Services for the City of St. Louis. “We do everything we can, we pull out all the stops to make sure that people have a place to get out of the frigid conditions we have.”
Siedhoff said other city officials originally saw a need for the shelter after Monday night’s extremely low temperatures. They also learned other shelters were all either at or near capacity. The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross are also helping to provide blankets, heat and clothes.
The plan initially included room for 50 beds, but because of demands the shelter added another 25 beds.
While Siedhoff could not specify just how many nights the shelter will be open, he said he hopes to help as long as “the need exists.”
“We want to protect people and save lives in any way possible,” Siedhoff said.