EDWARDSVILLE — With temperatures expected to drop into the single digits in the upcoming days Madison County officials want to let the public know where they can go to stay warm.

“We know there are individuals out there who are unhoused and we want them to know there are places for them to go get warm,” Homeless Coordinator David Kerr said.

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Each winter the county’s homeless program puts provisions in play to assist the unhoused.

Kerr said Madison County Continuum of Care (CoC), which is a consortium of non-profits and citizens that determine how to carry out the homeless program, are working with organizations to sponsor warming centers in Alton and Edwardsville.

“We have modified our referral line to instruct people in distress to either go to a warming center, contact a shelter or contact their local police department,” Kerr said.

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Kerr said that not only are the unhoused affected, but also those who may lose heat or power. He said the CoC works with local municipalities and law enforcement to provide emergency direct assistance where it is needed.

He said the county also uses funds to put homeless individuals, who normally are outside at night, into hotels on a short-term basis when there is no shelter space available.

“We will use all available means to mitigate the hardships posed by the cold snap,” he said.

Contact the county’s referral line at (618) 296-5300 for more information or visit the county’s Emergency Management Agency page at https://www.madisoncountyil.gov/departments/emergency_management/seasonal_awareness.php

for a list of warming centers throughout the county.

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