Non-Profit and volunteer agencies offer assistance to anyone looking for a hot meal and a warm place

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ST. LOUIS - Answering the need across the city to help stay warm.

Several St. Louis area agencies are offering their free services to assist those who need to get out of the bitter cold temperatures.

Zipporah “Zippy” Lee with Winter Outreach said that she has been spending many winter nights making sure those who are less fortunate have a hot meal and warm place to stay.

“I look for people who are alone who really are at their most vulnerable or they don’t have people who they may be connected with or they seem like they have enough things to survive the night,” she said.

The strictly volunteer based organization said that it needs more volunteers, in addition to many winter necessities that sometimes can be taken for granted.

We always have need for blankets, hats and gloves,” said Lee, “I mean things that people can just got to the Dollar Store and buy on their own.”

Meanwhile Heat Up St. Louis, a long-time community based service said that it received a higher than usual call volume over the holiday weekend.

“There are many people judging by the calls that we have gotten so far that we will probably still get who are in need of assistance where their heating bill is so high that they are making decisions between heating and eating,” said Reverend Earl E. Nance.

Nance said that the non-profit organization relies heavily on donations, that’s why the need is especially great around this time of the year.

“We ask the St. Louis community that has been so good to us for the past 17 years to give,” he said, “we always say and it’s true that ‘Every dime that people give goes toward those that really need it.’

And services to assist people needing help in the cold also stretch across St. Louis County. That includes a shelter at 10740 Page Avenue.

“As the weather becomes bitterly cold our shelters begin to fill up,” said County executive Steve Stenger, “it holds 48 people on nights like tonight, and there will be a ton of people.”

Warming Centers in the St. Louis Area

Individuals or families seeking shelter should please contact the following agencies:

  • St. Louis Housing Helpline: (314) 802-5444
  • United Way: 211
  • Biddle Housing Opportunities Center: (314) 612-1675

1313 N. Tucker St., St. Louis, MO 63101

Staff and volunteers from Biddle Housing Opportunities Center, St. Patrick Center, Peter &Paul Community Services, Gateway 180, BJC Behavioral, Places for People, St. Louis City Continuum of Care, St. Louis County Continuum of Care, St. Louis Housing Helpline - United Way 211, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis Winter Outreach Shelters, St. Louis Winter Outreach Teams, and VA Street Outreach are working together to ensure that individuals and families experiencing homelessness are safe, healthy and out of the dangerous elements this winter.

For assistance in shelter coordination, please contact Edwin Muhammad at (314) 657-1718 or​

St. louis County’s Warming Shelter is open 24 hours a day

St. Louis County and the Salvation Army have partnered to provide expanded warming shelter services this winter.
The shelter, located at 10740 Page Ave, 63132, will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week between 12/18/17 and 3/16/18 The facility can accommodate up to 48 individuals.

“St. Louis County and The Salvation Army are providing professional services to our most vulnerable residents this winter,” County Executive Steve Stenger said. “Aside from providing relief from the cold, anyone using the shelter will have access to the Salvation Army’s array of services including meals, laundry facilities and case management to help those in need find housing.”

For more information on St. Louis County’s homeless services

The County Executive has also allocated $250,000 in federal grant money this winter to to establish a utility assistance fund.

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