Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Volunteers helping the homeless stay warm

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- This has been a winter of records. And one of the most telling is the safety record achieved by St. Louis city in protecting the homeless.

Despite the bone chilling cold, there have been no deaths.  A team of city workers and volunteers make sure the homeless spend the night at the 12th and Park Rec Center

The city can handle 150 cots in the gymnasium here at the Rec Center.   Thursday additional cots were brought in from the Salvation Army.  Thursday night marks the 37th night since Dec. 5th that the shelter has been open.   That`s more than double the 13 nights the shelter opened last winter.

Most who come there are the chronic homeless, people who've lived on the streets for a year.  The center opens at 6pm.

They leave during the day to make room for the recreational activities normally held the center. Metro Transit and the St. Louis Fire Department provide transportation to and from a homeless drop in center at Centenary United Methodist Church at 16th and Olive.

But the most important thing is no one has been lost to the winter thanks to the work of a tireless team.

Social service agencies are on hand to help with referrals as needed. And the Crisis Nursery offers assistance for people with children.

If you want to volunteer to help, call the United Way at 211.

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