When Iowa’s frigid winter blows in, being outside isn’t just uncomfortable – it can be hazardous. As temperatures drop, people left with nowhere but the street to turn are desperate for warmth, safety, and protection from developing exposure-related conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite which can permanently damage one’s health and can ultimately result in the loss of life.
In response to this amplified need, Shelter House piloted the Corridor’s first low-barrier winter shelter in January 2015 with a simple yet profound intention that anyone experiencing homelessness, no matter their circumstance, would be kept out of the cold.
We are again operating a satellite low-barrier Winter Emergency Shelter at 821 S. Clinton St., Iowa City intended for people for whom homelessness has become a chronic condition removing sobriety and other requirements often experienced as barriers. In addition, we increased our bed capacity at the Southgate building from 70 to 90 throughout the winter to ensure no one is turned away into the freezing night air. For the past five winters, and as a direct result of these services, vagrancy calls to the police and emergency room usage have decreased; no one has died on our streets from exposure.
Out of the Cold funds our extensive outreach and combined efforts during the winter. We are only able to provide this much-needed programming with the support and generosity of our community. This winter, our goal is to raise $100,000 for the Out of the Cold campaign through your donations which allow us to cover the range of programs and supports that keeps people out of the winter cold. Together, with your support, we can provide security and hope to people experiencing homelessness in our neighborhoods!
In addition to financial contributions, visit our Greatest Needs page for a current list of items needed during the winter months.
Interested in volunteering at the winter shelter?
Complete the online Volunteer Application Form here and we’ll be in touch with you soon!
Read about our winter programs and hear from a guest of our low-barrier winter emergency shelter below.
Nov 2018 | Press-Citizen | Iowa City Shelter House to increase capacity in extreme, cold weather