CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s bitterly cold out. The last time the temperature was above freezing in Central Illinois was back on February 4th.
For those without an address, this weather is seriously dangerous.
OSF Healthcare said it’s seen 14 weather-related injuries in Urbana and 8 in Danville. This includes frostbite from being out in the cold for too long.
C-U At Home has opened their Daytime Drop-in Center, “The Phoenix,” for emergency warming hours, so every person in the community has a place to go during the day. The drop-in center is usually open Tuesday- Thursday from 12-5pm, but for the last few weeks, it has been open for 12 hours a day, overlapping with emergency overnight shelters, so that no one is left out in the cold.
C-U At Home Executive Director Rob Dalhaus III said, “Its not overstating it to say that this is a life-saving resource. Somebody that has to be out in the elements for a long time could have frostbite, hypothermia, you just never know what physical ailments they’re already dealing with that could be coupled with the cold weather.”
C-U At Home also has a 24-hour hotline, so that those who are worried about a friend without an address can help them find a place that is safe and warm.
When asked why it is important to support those without a home, Dalhaus said, “It could happen to you. It could happen to me. It could happen to a family member. It could happen to a close friend. I want us as a community to make sure that we have the resources available for those folks, for any of us, if we happen to fall on hard times, bad breaks, or bad choices. If we end up falling down, that we have the resources available to help pick ourselves back up.”
Earlier this month, WCIA partnered with C-U At Home for the One Winter Night Campaign. The donations have now exceeded $500,000. The money raised goes to fund resources like these emergency daytime and overnight shelters.
Donations are still being accepted through Friday, February 19th. You can donate in the following ways:
- Online at www.cuathome.us (click on the blue donate button)
- Venmo – @C-UatHome
- Text to Give – “OWN” to 50155
- Cash/Check to P.O. Box 8816, Champaign, IL, 61826