Springfield homeless have a place to stay during cold weather - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Springfield homeless have a place to stay during cold weather

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

A cold snap like the one Western Massachusetts will experience this week affects everyone, but it might not impact anyone more than the homeless.

A larger than normal crowd was expected Sunday night at the Friends of the Homeless shelter on Worthington Street.

According to management, the shelter is the largest in the Bay State west of Boston and the only open bed shelter in Western Mass.

The shelter will house 150 to 170 on any given night, but those numbers will go up when the temperature drops.

"On a night like this, we really do our best to make sure that anyone who is out there does come in," said Kathy Tobin, director of program development for the shelter. "It is not safe to be out there because of the elements. So, we never refuse people who need emergency shelter on a night like this. When we run out of beds, we make a place on the floor if that is all we have. But, it is better than being outside and being at risk of freezing."

The Friends of the Homeless overflow shelter was damaged last month in the Worthington Street explosion.

While they work on fixing the building, the shelter staff sets up cots in their cafeteria to handle the overflow.

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