City to keep warming centers open despite being over budget

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– With dangerous sub-zero wind chills moving back into the St. Louis area, city officials find themselves scrambling to further fund an overflow shelter for the homeless.

The community center at Tucker and Park costs about $1000 per night to keep open for 125 homeless people.  Twenty days were budgeted for this winter, and because of the unusual amount of cold and snow, the overflow spot has already been open for 27 days.

“It’s what keeps me up at night,” Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff said.  “I really do worry so much about the wellbeing of people here in the city.  Particularly our most vulnerable citizens, being homeless people.”

But Siedhoff says even with a good six weeks left in the cold weather season, he has marching orders not to leave anyone at risk.  The overflow shelter will be open.

“Mayor Slay has made it very clear.  This is a necessity.  We will find the money.  We will find it some place.  We have to.  It’s a responsibility the city has.”

The looming wind chills in the -20 degree range has area hospitals gearing up as well.

“We will see a potential spike of patients who come to the emergency department because of those exposures,” Barnes-Jewish ER Dr. Brian Froelke said.

He points out that when wind chills get to the point they’re expected to reach overnight and in the morning, danger can come in just a matter of minutes.

“The risk is the possibility of frostbite,” he said.  “You have somewhere between 10 minutes and a half hour depending on how cold it is before you’re at risk of frostbite.  You want to dress in layers to help prevent that.  Cover up any exposed areas.”

Parents are urged to keep an extra eye on children heading to the bus stop or walking to school in the morning.  One St. Louis County school administrator tells Fox 2 it is far less likely a weather day will be declared if cold weather is the only factor.  In other words, the kids will likely be headed to class in most areas.


About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News