Bloomington homeless shelters face challenges in preparing for colder weather

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Homeless service providers are gearing up for winter, as below-freezing temperatures at night are just weeks away.

In Bloomington, Home Sweet Home Ministries (HSHM) is facing many challenges, mainly due to COVID-19.

CEO Matt Burgess said shelters are still having to limit the number of people allowed inside due to COVID-19 and are still unsure of how ending eviction moratoriums will affect the number of people needing homeless services.

Burgess said HSHM helps about 300 people on an average year.

“There isn’t really a lot of seasonal fluctuation with those numbers. We tend to stay the same amount of busy regardless of what time of year,” Burgess said. “The difference is when it’s cold outside, everybody is inside and so that’s the difference between the warm months and cold months.”

Burgess said staff are preparing to have more people inside the building at one time due to the cold and is always in need of support.

“Staffing is always an issue in non-profit organizations. It’s part of the reason why we ask for volunteers; we rely on paid and unpaid staff to do the work that we do,” Burgess said.

Learn how to volunteer here.

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