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Cold Temps Cause Concern for Homeless Shelters

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Cold Temps Cause Concern for Homeless Shelters

By Raquel Lamal. CREATED Nov 8, 2013

 APPLETON, Wis.- As the temperatures drop homeless shelters are filling up.  Right now the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley has a waiting list with people who need a place to stay.

The shelter says they've been busy all summer and the waiting list has been constant since May. Now, with colder temperatures coming they say it's more important than ever to find open beds so they're reaching out to other shelters .

At the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley beds are quickly filling up.

"We're currently full at our 75 person census with a 4 person waiting list," said the shelter's community relations director, Jennifer Dieter.

Once the Emergency Shelter is full they send the overflow to the Fox Valley Warming Shelter, but now there's a problem with that.

"We're in a predicament because the warming shelter has also been full many nights," explained Dieter.

Now the Emergency Shelter is forced to find new options.  They're reaching out to other shelters for help.

"We've become more regional I think in the way that we're serving people," said Dieter.

The shelters in the region, meaning Green Bay, Appleton and Oshkosh, have begun meeting 4 times a year to make sure the homeless have a bed at night.

"We sit down and we talk about issues we're experiencing and things like that and it's wonderful to kind of hear other people experience the same growing pains that we are," said volunteer coordinator for the Day by Day Shelter in Oshkosh, Megan Sawall.

The quarterly meetings are new this year.  Shelters say it makes a difference.

"I think it's a really good opportunity for us to learn form other shelters," said Dieter.

All the shelters say they try to help one another out when possible, all working together to keep the homeless off the streets.

Both the Day by Day Shelter and the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley are part of this group that meets 4 times a year.  Their next meeting is at the end of November.