Low temperatures, few shelters to help

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Lower temperatures are on the way, but there are a couple options to keep people warm. 

Restoration Urban Ministries has seen more people coming in since the closings. They will give people a place to stay overnight. CU at Home gives shelter during the day. 

Kelly-Jane Monahan coordinates the Phoenix, a drop-in center run through CU at Home. 

“This season in particular we have seen a record number of people walk through those doors,” states Monahan. 

Those doors are staying open for those in need, while the two emergency shelters have closed theirs for the season. 

Ervin Williams oversees Restoration Urban Ministries.

“With the other shelters having closed down, we’ve had close to 30 people already show up and more still calling in,” says Williams.

With a lack of shelters during the wintry conditions, there’s an unease for people left in the cold.

“There’s a lot of concern. We’re not sure where they’re going to go and they’re not sure where they’re going to go,” says Williams. 

Williams and Monahan both feel more shelters would help the area.  

“It’s a need, not just in Champaign, but all over,” says Monahan

For now, Restoration Urban Ministries and CU at Home are making sure they’re geared up for people around the community.       

“We have blankets, you know hats, scarves, gloves, all that stuff. We’re still making sure people have plenty of,” says Monahan. 

“What we’re doing is freeing up some rooms and hoping that we’re able to to get enough beds to place people and at least get them out of the weather,” states Williams.

The resources don’t stop there. 

“We will absolutely open up as a warming center when the temperatures drop to those very,  very dangerously cold levels,” says Williams.

CU at Home also offers rides to people looking for a shelter bed in the surrounding area, which includes Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington, Decatur and Danville.

Restoration Urban Ministries says people can stop by for help if they need it. CU at Home is open Tuesday through Friday from noon – 5 pm.

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