SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Warming shelters have opened across the Ozarks, but a significant problem they face is a high demand for volunteers.
Due to the extreme temperatures, shelter operators say they’ve seen double the number of people who need a warm place to stay in the last few days.
“In situations like this with the extreme cold, we do see a rise in numbers. And it’s hard for us to say, hey, we just don’t have enough space,” said Amos Shiels with The Salvation Army.
Salvation Army’s Harbor House holds about 20-25 men who need a place to sleep and feeds around 150 people daily, with less than ten volunteers.
“The thing that’s really difficult is we still have people that are outside in this weather,” said Christie Love with Springfield’s Connecting Grounds.
Other overnight warming shelters hold around the same number of people but operate with only two volunteers overnight.
“This week, it’s been particularly difficult to get volunteers, so that is definitely a huge need.”
Community leaders say they may have to cut back on shelters if they don’t get enough volunteers.
“The most heartbreaking is when we can’t open a shelter because we don’t have enough volunteers.
“The thing that’s really difficult is we still have people that are outside in this weather,” said Christie Love with Connecting Grounds.
For a list of warming shelters and how to volunteer at them, CLICK HERE.
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For the full story and video: Volunteers needed to run Greene County cold weather shelters