Stillwater News Press

Local News

February 25, 2013

Homeless shelter prepares for more clients as weather turns frigid

STILLWATER, Okla. — As Stillwater residents prepared for the winter weather conditions forecast to hit Stillwater Monday evening, a Stillwater nonprofit was also taking steps to help those less fortunate.

Mission of Hope, a homeless shelter, follows protocols for extreme weather.

“As soon as it’s below freezing we go into emergency status and that means we let everyone in as long as they don’t have an outstanding warrant or if they are a sex offender,” said Director Jana Nelson.

Background and warrant checks are done on each person who enters the shelter to ensure the safety of others. However, the group looks to help everyone stay warm and have a place to sleep in the frigid temperatures.

“Right now, we have two beds open in the men’s dorm and two in the women’s,” Nelson said. “We have several big air mattresses that we put in our living room and dining room and we pull the divider so we have men on one side and women on the other.”

The nonprofit also has several pack and play cribs for babies.

While Mission of Hope was not packed as of Monday afternoon, Nelson said she expects more people to come if the winter weather reaches Stillwater.

“I expect it,” she said. “You never know for sure, but I expect it. All our beds will be full, plus extra.”

Nelson said the mission has been purchasing extra groceries and ice melt.

The building has two generators for back up in case the power should go out. Nelson has also been adjusting staff schedules so all shifts in a 24-hour period are covered.

“We’re open 24 hours a day, so if there’s people that are out in the weather that need to come in for shelter, they can come in at any time,” Nelson said.

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