Mission of Hope providing emergency shelter from the cold

File Photo A homeless man stays in the Mission of Hope day room during a hot summer day. The day room is used in emergency situations like extreme heat or extreme cold.

The Mission of Hope homeless shelter, 1804 S. Perkins Road, provides shelter and supportive services for people and families who wouldn’t otherwise have a roof over their heads.

It screens residents for criminal background and requires that they remain sober while living at the shelter but enacts emergency procedures when sustained temperatures are below 32 degrees or above 100 degrees that allow it to provide shelter for anyone who needs to get out of the elements.

The Mission of Hope has been operating under those emergency procedures for about a week, staff member Ingrid Lacy said.

Even when daytime temperatures reach the 40s or 50s, night-time lows have been dropping well below freezing.

That will likely continue for the foreseeable future because January and February are normally Oklahoma’s coldest months, with average lows below or hovering near freezing.

Frigid temperatures with highs in the 20s and lows in the teens to single digits are forecast through Tuesday. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter's office issued warning about bitterly cold weather with arctic air expected to move into the state Friday night pushing lows to near record levels. 

The wind chill on Monday could make the temperature feel as low as minus 10 degrees.

During extreme weather the Mission of Hope's population usually exceeds its normal capacity. Emergency residents sleep in day rooms and common areas, away from the dormitories where long-term residents live.

Lacy said the dormitories, which can house up to six women and 10 men, were already full before the shelter went to emergency procedures.

The number of people walking in due to the cold has been notable, but varies from day to day, she said.

The shelter isn’t running low on any certain type of supply but having a larger than normal population means the shelter is using more of everything it normally uses from paper goods to personal hygiene supplies to food.

More information about the Mission of Hope can be found at www.stillwatermoh.org.

Twitter: @mcharlesNP

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