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Area homeless shelters see increase in need - KOAM TV 7

Area homeless shelters see increase in need

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Temperatures have become dangerous to those outside.  Many without a home and a warm place to stay have sought refuge at area homeless shelters.  We got a glimpse of what it's like right now at Soul's Harbor in Joplin.

A heavy jacket, thick hat, but endurance running thin.  47-year-old Victor O'Halon says he's been outside in teen-digit temperatures for about six hours.

"My feet are still numb right now from the cold," says O'Halon.

This, even after 15 minutes of warming up inside Soul's Harbor homeless shelter.  O'Halon says he's a carpenter, saving up enough money to become independent, but with no offers of work because of this cold weather.

"Six to ten more people have come in," says Georgia Jones with Soul's Harbor.

Workers at Soul's Harbor say during this time of the year, frigid temperatures sometimes seem to melt a secure life.

"Sometimes, they're traveling and they get stuck traveling.  We've had some where the heat went out in their house and they needed temporary housing until they could get the heat back on.  Some of it is an eviction process," says Jones.

And so it turns into survival mode.  Some, like O'Halon, realize they need help and get it, rotating visits to other shelters like The Salvation Army and Watered Gardens during the day and night.

Others take a chance that O'Halon says carries too much risk.

"I've heard of people passing away because of hypothermia," says O'Halon.

"We do our very best to give out what we have.  And naturally, the people are wanting this so they can stay warmer while they're looking for jobs and things like that," says Jones.

O'Halon forecasts an opportunity for work on Tuesday.  But just like the weather, things can change.

"I talked to my boss today and I'll be heading back out to work, hopefully," says O'Halon.

Homeless shelters are in need of donations, especially during this time of the year.

For more information on:

Soul's Harbor 

915 S Main St, Joplin, MO 64801
(417) 623-7927

Watered Gardens

The Salvation Army

Choices Emergency Shelter

204 North Pine

Pittsburg, KS 66762 

 

620-231-5400 

Carthage Crisis Center

420 Lyon St.
Carthage, MO 64836
(417)358-3533




 

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