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Homeless Shelters See Rise in Numbers as Extreme Heat Continues

As the extreme heat continues, people who are homeless are searching for a cool place to stay. The Missouri Hotel and Safe-to-Sleep are homeless care centers, and as KSMU’s Brittany Donnellan reports, they’ve seen an increase in the number of people they serve due to the extreme heat.

Safe-to-Sleep is an overnight shelter dedicated to serving homeless women in Springfield. Romona Baker is the Resource Coordinator for Homeless Services for the Council of Churches. She says that the number of women staying at the shelter has risen throughout the summer. It peaked this week with 28 women. Baker says she believes the increase is due to the extreme heat that forces the homeless indoors.

“We think probably just the hot weather all winter has gradually drained peoples’ resources and their ability to cope. I think our gradual increase this summer has been, in part, due to the heat,” said Baker.

Over at the Missouri Hotel, which is operated by The Kitchen, Inc., case manager Chuck Cribbs says it’s not unusual for the shelter to see an increase during the summer months. He says this year, the demand for outreach services that provide food and cold water has spiked too.

As the hot weather continues, both Cribbs and Baker say their programs will do their best to accommodate the homeless.

For KSMU News, this is Brittany Donnellan.