Local homeless shelters prepare for the winter months

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DES MOINES, Iowa — While giving people the resources they need is a year-round process for homeless shelters in the area. As we enter the colder months and the holiday season, things do ramp up at most shelters.

Local shelters said that sometimes the most important thing is trying to make sure people are not only warm this time of year but also supported with gifts, and meals for the upcoming winter holiday season.

“One of the hardest things to watch is kids who don’t get to be with their own families on the holidays and so we work really hard to a make sure that our families that are you know intact and living in their homes who need help and support you know with gifts and making the holiday a really good, a good experience for them,” said the CEO of Ellipsis (FKA Youth Homes/YESS), Chris Koepplin. “But also that our kids that are in care, really get to experience, however they can with their families but when they’re not with their families with us.”

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness in January 2020, there were over 580,000 people experiencing homelessness in America. Seventy percent were individuals and the rest were people living in families with children. 

Hope Ministries, a local shelter, serves men and women who are over 18. They serve mothers with children and will help with referrals for homeless youth to other local shelters in the area.

Hope Ministries serves three meals a day 365 days of the year, and that means that their Thanksgiving meal is coming up in about a month.

“This time of the year a couple of things that we get excited about and that are big efforts for us is not only preparing for the colder weather and we’re certainly welcoming donations of hats and gloves and warm winter gear that we can bless people with that we can help people with,” said Director of Development and Community Relations at Hope Ministries, Kathy Coady. “Also we’re gearing up for one of our biggest days of the year and that’s our Thanksgiving meal outreach so on Thanksgiving Day, we’re going to use a couple hundred volunteers and we’re going to serve and deliver 3,500 meals in the metro area.”

If you want to find out ways you can help or donate you can find them here.

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