Homeless shelters prepare for winter weather and COVID-19 guidance

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As the temperature gets cooler, some are wondering about what will happen to homeless shelters. Many places have already cut down on available spots to make room for social distancing inside.

At Friends of the Homeless in Springfield, last year they saw between 180 and 190 clients, they say it was their busiest winter ever. The shelter tries to take in as many people as they can, right now they only fit 36 clients in their women shelter due to COVID-19 downsizing,

When it comes to winter and they expect more people, Friends of the Homeless is planning on expanding to add the beds they’ve lost due to social distancing. Their HVAC system is also built to handle disease circulating.

“There are a lot of people who are living outdoors and there are a lot of people who are concerned about that. We’re Friends of the Homeless for a reason, we’re doing this work to make sure nobody gets left outside in the cold,” said Bill Miller, VP of Clinical and Support Operations Inc.

Friends of the Homeless say they see a thousand different clients every year.

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