Cape Girardeau leaders hopeful for solution to sheltering during extreme weather

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – “It’s been a good process, there are a number of organizations, charities, churches, etc. that are engaged in this work,” Cape Girardeau Mayor Stacy Kinder said as she reflected on the last cold snap in late December of 2022 that made for a difficult time for about 20 people seeking shelter.

The solution has been in the works will hopefully be ready for next winter.

“The conversation began last year, really, with the Salvation Army,” said Mayor Kinder. They were indicating an interest in engaging that conversation and perhaps looking into bringing cold weather and inclement weather sheltering to their facility in Cape.”

The process has been slow to help those in need of finding shelter from extreme weather.

“Getting their approval from their national office apparently is taking a while,” said Kinder. “It’s still ongoing, and the process is well down that path.”

Elizabeth Shelton, director of the United Way of Southeast Missouri says many of the organizations in Cape Girardeau have been working to get the homeless a warm and safe place to be when dangerous weather has come to head.

“Many community non-profits are still working very hard to find a solution to house or shelter our homeless during extreme weather,” Shelton said.

The United Way oversees funds for a federal program called the Emergency Food and Shelter program also known as EFSP.

These funds go toward helping the homeless, with the hopeful opening of the Salvation Army to the public during extreme weather, this leads for more opportunity.

“It also allows an opportunity to access needs and provide resources that can help beyond just providing one or two nights of shelter,” said Shelton.

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