Siena Francis Expects 360 People Overnight Escaping Cold

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DONATIONS NEEDED:

Mainly toielt paper, coats, blankets, clothing.

Drop Off At Siena Francis House During Daytime Hours

1111 S. 17th Street, Omaha

With dangerous temperatures already arriving in the Metro, Operators at the Siena Francis House told WOWT 6 News they are expecting a packed house Sunday.

The rush to the shelter began Sunday round 4:30 when dozens lined up outside the doors to check in for a bed and dinner at 5:00. Operators said they would be serving a hot meal from 5-7 p.m.

The shelter has beds for 220 people. On top of that, the dining room is cleared out and 70 mats are brought in. The TV lounge area allows room for 25 mats. The shelter, however, is expecting an even larger crowd than usual. Operators said they are setting out mats in between rows of beds, and will then resort to chairs and blankets for people that come in late.

In total the shelter is expecting 360 people. Because of the cold temperatures the shelter even made an earlier check in time.

"Usually check in isn't until 6:00, but tonoight we'll make it 5:00 because of the cold temperatures. They come in and they thank me for doing that. It's just so fulfilling to change people's lives,” said Brad Palchow. Palchow is the Evening Manager at the shelter.

One of those using the shelter for warmth, Jasper Wooten, found it a year ago after losing his place. He now volunteers on the shelter's cleaning crew as a way to be allowed to stay at the shelter long-term. He said it has treated him very well, and is thankful.

"I have some friends that actually live in tents and they’re like cold I haven’t seen them in a week or two and I’m actually starting to worry a bit," he explained. "It's been a big help."

Palchow explained the shelter will never turn anyone away. Because of the cold temperatures he said the shelter is in need of extra donations. He explained the people at the shelter mostly need toilet paper, coats and blankets. You can make donations at the Siena Francis House anytime during the day.


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