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Out of the Cold

Out of the Cold, December 1, 2018 – March 15, 2019

Thanks to the generosity of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, a building which was previously used for county storage at 821 S. Clinton St. in Iowa City was used as the site for the 2017 – 2018 winter shelter. Additional thanks to the City of Iowa City, City of Coralville, and Iowa City Police Department for their continued, altruistic support in our efforts!

When Iowa’s frigid winter blows in, the change in weather can be life-threatening for people experiencing homelessness.  As temperatures drop, they are at an increased risk of developing exposure-related conditions and dying from the below-zero temperatures. The Out of the Cold campaign funds our low-barrier Winter Emergency Shelter and Overflow Shelter and provides increased shelter capacity which is essential to accommodate the amplified need during winter months. Through these efforts combined we ensure that anyone experiencing homelessness in our community, no matter their circumstance, is kept out of the cold.

With our expanded winter shelter capacity, individuals who would have otherwise been incarcerated or sleeping in encampments, parking ramps and hallways of apartment buildings are instead ensured a safe, warm place to sleep.  For the past four winters, as a direct result of these services, vagrancy calls to the police have decreased precipitously as have emergency room usage and ambulance service calls; no one has died on our streets from exposure.

Read about our winter programs and hear from a guest of our low-barrier winter emergency shelter below. 

NOV 2017 | Little Village | Shelter House’s winter programs, Housing First project fight homelessness in Johnson County

I’ve lived in a tent before and used a candle to heat my tent. I wake up and there’s frost on the side of the tent from the cold night. Then you’ve got to get out of your tent the next day and all you’ve got to do is walk … just to stay warm.
Former winter emergency shelter guest


I stayed there (the Winter Shelter) every night last year—it makes a person feel better about themselves. It’s a place to get warm and get out of the cold. It makes your spirit better I guess, because in the winter it’s so cold, but when you go in there it kind of cheers you up a little bit.
Former winter emergency shelter guest