Overcrowded Shelters Make Room For More Clients During Freezing Cold | WGLT

Overcrowded Shelters Make Room For More Clients During Freezing Cold

Jan 29, 2019

The Safe Harbor Shelter in Bloomington is preparing to provide housing for more people needing shelter in the dangerous cold this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning that will take effect late Tuesday and is expected to last through Thursday morning.  

The Salvation Army of McLean County's social services director, Joanna Callahan, said the shelter has been running over its 58-bed capacity all winter, but it has been setting up cots in an overflow space.

“Our common areas in our building have not been fully utilized yet,” Callahan said. “We do still have extra space within the hallways, outside of our cafeteria/day center area, that’s where most of our people are centered.”

Callahan said the community donated extra blankets that she said will come in handy to help keep its guests warm this week.

“We are just pulling all of our storage of blankets, getting them all laundered and ready, getting them organized,” Callahan said. “It’s likely we will pre-make bags of baskets, so that if someone were to come in, we could give them a bag and say, ‘Here’s all your blankets and your pillow and a sheet for you,’ and just try to make them feel as comfortable and welcome as possible.”  

Callahan said the shelter typically keeps its warming center open from late October through mid-March, but can keep it open longer if necessary.

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