Springfield, Urbana shelters prepare for winter weather

Temperatures are expected to drop starting Wednesday and local shelters are preparing for the upcoming winter months.

When the weather turns, shelter resources are strained with people needing a place to get out of the cold, said Executive Director of Interfaith Hospitality Network Elaina Bradley.

“As the temperature drops, we are fully prepared to provide shelter to an increased population,” she said. “We will increase our shelter occupancy at each shelter. In the event that we reach our occupancy- we have a partner agreement in place with the Salvation Army to provide emergency shelter. We will notify the community.”

READ: Weather - Springfield News-Sun

WHIO Storm Center 7 predicts the weather will turn cold this week starting Wednesday.

“A strong cold front will be crossing with blustery conditions and falling temperatures,” WHIO Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said. “Temperatures will drop back to around 10 to 15 degrees below average beginning Wednesday with the cold air likely to stick around at least through mid-December.”

There will be little relief between now and then, he said.

“There may be some brief moderation in the temperatures (approaching normal) by early next week - only for more cold air to surge in by the middle of next week,” Elwell said.

The winter can be a dangerous time for the homeless, Fred Stegner of the Springfield Soup Kitchen, said. Those who live in tents, vacant homes, under bridges, in their cars or other places without reliable heat need to find a warm place to stay.

EXTRA: Springfield Assurant employee to appear on the Weather Channel

To ensure there are options for those in need, about two years ago agencies around Springfield, including Interfaith Hospitality, the Soup Kitchen and the Salvation Army, came up with a plan. First, people are referred to Interfaith Hospitality and other shelters. They work to place people and families in safe shelters and homes.

After they are filled, emergency shelters open. Those include the Salvation Army and the Springfield Soup Kitchen.

Though it is not as cold as it will likely get this winter, Stegner said, he has heard people voice concerns about not having a place to go.

“I’ve already had a homeless man who lives on the bike trail and he is deeply worried about where he is going to be this weekend,” he said, noting the man has medical issues. “It’s going to be too cold out.”

While the soup kitchen focuses on providing food for those in need, officials have also gathered warm clothes and even some heaters for people who need them. Though, because of cost, Stegner said the kitchen can only loan out the heaters for a period of time.

MORE: 5-Day Forecast | Weather - WHIO

Springfield is lucky to have many agencies working together, Stegner said, because that means more people can be served.

“We rely heavily on the cooperation of all the agencies in town,” he said. “We rely on and work together. We are working for the same purpose. To save lives and keep people out of pain and suffering.”

In Urbana, the Caring Kitchen has a shelter for those in need and also offers food and clothes.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can
Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can

Amanda Mattuchio said her parents use a fake can of Campbell's Tomato Soup to hide their cash. Unfortunately, they stored it alongside real soup cans in their kitchen. “The bottom would unscrew and it had $2,500 in it and it was a combination of $100 and $50 bills,” she said. “The neighbor upstairs asked them if they had any canned...
70 years of focusing on diplomacy, global affairs
70 years of focusing on diplomacy, global affairs

For 70 years, the Dayton Council on World Affairs has been working to engage and educate in our region on the intricacies and importance of global events. As the group readies for its anniversary celebration, we spoke with Monica Schultz, its board president, and board member Carolyn Rice about the history and mission of the council. To learn more...
Senate fails to pass budget; government shutdown now official 
Senate fails to pass budget; government shutdown now official 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12:00 a.m. The government shutdown is now official, as the deadline has been reached with no deal in place. The White House released a statement on what they are calling the ‘Schumer Shutdown:’ “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight...
Drake makes surprise appearance at Memphis nightclub
Drake makes surprise appearance at Memphis nightclub

He may have started from the bottom, but rapper Drake is making headlines after doing one dance that started in the Bluff City. According to party promoter Curtis Givens, the Grammy winner called him wanting to have a private party at In LOVE Memphis, a popular nightclub. Givens said it was a last minute call, but he and his business partner were up...
Woman dies after falling from balcony of Carnival cruise ship
Woman dies after falling from balcony of Carnival cruise ship

A woman died Friday after falling from the balcony of a room on the Jacksonville-based Carnival Elation cruise ship. The woman fell from the balcony to several decks below, Carnival said in a statement. Carnival Elation departed Jacksonville on Thursday for a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. Carnival sent the following statement to Action News Jax:"...
More Stories