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Emergency shelters dealing with lowered capacity as freezing temps sweep Tri-States

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- If you're warm while reading this, consider yourself lucky.

With freezing overnight temperatures to deal with, those who help the homeless in Quincy said they've had limited space for those in need right now in part due to COVID-19.

At the salvation army emergency shelter in Quincy, they said while you might not always see homeless individuals out on the sidewalk, there are people in need they're helping, and there's only so much space to go around.

"Our shelter here is consistently full, and we are limited with the number of beds, because of COVID," said Salvation Army Quincy Area Coordinator Michael Sjogren.

Their normal room for 14 people now just holds 10.

Sjogren said right now some funds for COVID-19 assistance have gone towards putting some of those people up in hotels to keep them out of the cold.

"We do assist through our hotel motel as well," said Sjogren, "and that actually is increased in this covid period, because of the greater needs."

Across the street at the Quincy Police Department, Deputy Chief Shannon Pilkington said this time of year it's something they deal with often.

"We try to definitely find them shelter we're just trying to have somebody sit out in the cold. We had an incident [Wednesday], where subject was calling was homeless and needed some help and we're assisting them," said Pilkington.

He said when the Salvation Army is full, they make calls to other area shelters.

"[We call] the New Start Rescue Mission, see if they take individuals, and then there's the Fishers for Men they have to sign up for the program then they can be taken in to their program," said Deputy Chief Pilkington.

The central point both Pilkington and Sjogren want to get across is that if you need help, it's out there.

"We do have staff here 24/7, and we will find a way in which to make sure that they are sheltered for the night, so that they're in the next day, then they can meet with our caseworkers and find out what the needs are and to begin assist in that way," said Sjogren.

Both said they're always looking for donations to help put people up in hotels.

If you or someone you know needs help finding shelter from the cold.

Officials with the Quincy Police Department said you can call them for assistance at (217) 228-4470,

You can also go to the Salvation Army Emergency Shelter at 5th and Broadway, or give them a call at (217) 222-8655.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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