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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield has committed an additional $95,000 in emergency funding for overnight crisis cold-weather sheltering. An agreement was signed last week with Community Partnership of the Ozarks and the Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness to provide additional crisis cold-weather shelter services through March 31.
The City allocates approximately $10,000 each year to crisis cold-weather sheltering. In fiscal year 2020-2021, the City allocated over $818,354 in rent assistance and other homeless prevention services. The City is currently in the process of allocating an estimated $600,000 of additional CARES Act funding for rent assistance and other homeless prevention services.
"We've been in contact with a lot of frontline providers in our community and had different conversations about the need," City Manager Jason Gage said. "The idea is to open up more units immediately, very quickly for those that are homeless, because we still have quite a bit of winter left, as we all know."
The emergency funding will fund additional on-site staffing for crisis cold-weather shelters, leased space and supplies for additional shelter capacity and 10 individual “teardrop” campers at The Gathering Tree/Eden Village’s Revive 66 Campground at 3839 W. Chestnut Expressway. The cost to rent the campers is $10 per night, which would be covered by the alliance.
The breakdown of funds is:
“We are grateful to the City’s investment and support of this critical community initiative, which will help the OAEH increase access to additional overnight shelter beds for our community’s most vulnerable during the remaining winter months,” said Janet Dankert, president/CEO of Community Partnership of the Ozarks.
Springfield’s overnight crisis cold-weather shelters operate between Nov. 1 and March 31. Openings are based on whether the National Weather Service forecasts overnight (10 p.m.-4 a.m.) temperatures at 32 degrees or below. Shelters announce by 2:30 p.m. each day if they will be open that night. East Sunshine Church of Christ, 3721 E. Sunshine, First Unitarian Universalist Church, 2434 E. Battlefield, Hope Church, 2121 S. Blackman Road (through Jan. 31) and The Salvation Army’s Harbor House serve as crisis cold-weather shelters for men while Grace United Methodist Church, 600 S. Jefferson, serves women.
Veterans Coming Home, 806 N. Jefferson, has extended its hours to serve as an evening warming site and as the pick-up site for transportation via City Utilities buses to the men’s shelters. Women can access shelter at Grace UMC by City Utilities bus line 22.
Crisis sheltering for children is available year-round through Isabel’s House and Great Circle.
Overnight volunteers are needed for the shelters. Visit http://www.cpozarks.org/coldweather/ to learn more and complete a volunteer interest form.
Community Partnership of the Ozarks facilitates this initiative locally. HUD established the program nationally in 1995 in an effort to coordinate housing and services funding for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Through the OAEH, HUD distributes funding of more than $1 million to local agencies to provide direct shelter and support services.