Crisis Cold Weather Shelters

Every winter, overnight Crisis Cold Weather Shelters open in our community when the overnight forecast is at or below 32 degrees. As of February 11, Crisis Cold Weather Shelters have been open 56 times, and provided over 3,940 nights of shelter. These shelters save lives and would not be possible without the help of countless community volunteers who compassionately give of their time, as well as the support of partners like City Utilities of Springfield and Veterans Coming Home.

This winter, shelters are facing a critical volunteer shortage because of COVID-19. To help meet this need, our Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness is challenging businesses, churches, civic organizations, and other groups to adopt a week of shelter nights by committing volunteers to assist with overnight shelter shifts.


Volunteers are still critically needed for a variety of roles with the Crisis Cold Weather Shelters- staying at shelters overnight, but also to help serve meals, and to transport pets and laundry. Overnight volunteers are needed from approximately 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., are always paired with another volunteer, and can sleep for part of the night. All volunteers will go through a site-specific training, and shelter coordinators are always available to answer questions overnight via phone.

For more information about what an overnight volunteer can expect, please watch our Crisis Cold Weather Shelters Volunteering 101 video below. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the CCWS Volunteer Interest Form., and a shelter will be in touch with you within 1-2 business days for next steps.

Contact Amanda Stadler at or 417-225-7499 for more information.

Volunteer Team Expectations

  • Recruit a team of volunteers within your church, business, or civic organization.
  • Select a week/weeks to serve as overnight support to crisis cold weather shelters.
  • Assign a volunteer team lead as the primary point of contact who will work with the Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness Volunteer Coordinator.

Volunteer Member Expectations

  • Join a Volunteer Team.
  • Complete an on-site shelter training.
  • Be ready during your designated week to help provide a warm, safe shelter stay at one of Springfield’s designated Crisis Cold Weather Shelters!

Background checks may be required.

Volunteer FAQ:

Who will I be volunteering with?
You will always be placed with at least one other volunteer; if volunteering as part of a group, you will most likely be volunteering alongside someone you. Know.


What times are volunteers needed?

Crisis Cold Weather Shelters need volunteers overnight, typically from 8:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m.


Do I get to sleep?

Yes! Volunteers split shifts overnight, but one person is awake at all times.


I’ve never done something like this before…what can I expect?

All volunteers will go through a detailed orientation and training process, and shelter coordinators will always be available to answer questions via phone.


Hosting a Crisis Cold Weather Shelter Site

We are also looking for additional sites to host Crisis Cold Weather Shelters. For more information, please review our CCWS Hosting 101 below for minimum requirements and complete the Host Site Interest form.