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Homeless Seek Shelter as Winter Weather Arrives
The wind chill Friday night is expected to be below zero. A hot meal and a warm place to sleep are things many of us take for granted; but not Lafayette Glenn.
Although he receives disability checks, he says he's using it to pay child support. He's currently homeless and staying at the Springfield overflow shelter.
"It's a blessing from God to be out of the cold and to get a good meal. If we didn't have SOS, a lot of people would freeze to death," he said.
Capacity at the shelter is 50. Right now, about 40 people are staying the night.
"Numbers have been a little low this year," said Archie Ford, Director of Homeless Services for the Salvation Army. "I'm thinking people are doing a little better this year than last year. Helping Hands also has 10 additional beds they didn't have last year, so that helps."
For anyone who spends any significant time outside in the cold, there can be serious health risks. America Ambulance Services sees a spike in emergency calls when winter weather hits.
"After the first snowfall or ice, we do see an increase in motor vehicle collisions, as well as people out trying to remove snow have incidents where they slip, fall. Increased chest pain from extreme stress on bodies," paramedic Christian Price said.
Not to mention hypothermia, which medics say they also encounter.
It's a risk for some who are homeless and don't have a shelter to stay at; which is why Lafayette is counting his blessings.
"When one door closes, as my great grandma always said, another door opens up and that's what's been happening here," he said.
The Springfield overflow shelter is in need of personal hygiene items, socks and underwear. If you're able to donate those items, you can drop them off at the Salvation Army at Sixth and Carpenter.