Crisis Cold Weather Shelters
Every winter, overnight Crisis Cold Weather Shelters open in our community to provide additional emergency shelter beds. During the 2020-2021 winter, Crisis Cold Weather Shelter sites were open 74 nights and provided 5,907 nights of shelter to approximately 370 individuals. These shelters save lives and would not be possible without the dedication of the host sites themselves, countless community volunteers who compassionately give of their time, and as other partners like the City of Springfield and City Utilities of Springfield.
To help meet the critical need for volunteers, the Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness is challenging businesses, churches, civic organization, and other groups to engage with this initiative by volunteering and/or donating funds, supplies, or space. More information about these needs can be found below and in the Crisis Cold Weather Shelter Needs document.
Watch our Crisis Cold Weather Shelter Volunteering Video at the link below.
Volunteers are critically needed for a variety of roles with Crisis Cold Weather Shelter sites; not only staying at shelters overnight, but also helping to serve meals, deliver supplies, and transport pets. All volunteers will go through a site-specific training and shelter coordinators are always available via phone to answer questions. Overnight volunteers are needed from approximately 7:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m., are always paired with another volunteer, and can sleep for part of the night. Most overnight volunteers work 1-2 shifts per month.
• If you are ready for next steps, please complete the CCWS Volunteer Interest Form. This form is a shared sign-up across all Crisis Cold Weather Shelter sites.
•If you are new to volunteering in this way (which most of our volunteers are!), please watch this Welcome to Volunteering at a Crisis Cold Weather Shelter video, which addresses the most frequently asked questions volunteers have.
• If you still have questions, we have answers! For more information call 417-888-2020 or email OAEH@cpozarks.org.
While overnight volunteers are our most critical need, there are several other important ways groups and individuals can support this important initiative. If you represent a business, group, or organization that wants to support Crisis Cold Weather Shelters in some capacity other than volunteering, you can request more information by completing this Partner Interest Form.
Due to physical distancing requirements to protect guests and volunteer from COVID-19, additional sites are still needed to host overnight shelters. For more information on minimum requirements, review the CCWS Hosting 101 and Variance Process documents below and request more information by completing the Partner Interest Form.
In addition to providing a safe place for people to sleep, shelters also work to meet other health, hunger, and hygiene needs people may have. You can donate funds to meet these needs throughout the winter across shelter sites by donating HERE.