Emergency Beds For Homeless Men In C-U Expected By January
Homeless men have been without an emergency shelter in Champaign-Urbana since July first, when Rosecrance stopped offering 50 beds that had been previously available at the TIMES Center in Champaign. Earlier in the year, the Salvation Army in Champaign was also forced to close its Stepping Stones Men’s Shelter because of the budget impasse. That facility provided 45 emergency beds.
Melany Jackson is the chair of the Council of Service Providers to the Homeless in Champaign-Urbana. Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline spoke with Jackson about the shortage of emergency beds, and what she and other service providers are trying to do to fill that need in the community.
Jackson is also the executive director of C-U at Home, a non-profit group that advocates for the homeless. She says with the cold temperatures this week, C-U at Home's Phoenix Drop-In Center on E. Green St. in Champaign is offering extended hours whenever the air temperature drops below 10 degrees, or if the wind chill falls below zero.
“Those are 14-hour days for us here at the Phoenix, and we are dependent on folks from the community to come in and help us," Jackson said. "Just be here, be a safe place for people to stay warm.”
Those extended hours are from 7am to 9pm. The Phoenix is regularly open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5pm.