Non-profits weigh housing options for homeless as winter storm rages on

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 5:31 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A flock of people piled into Carpenters Place Friday morning looking for warm clothes, food, and showers. With the frigid temperatures set to stick around, the shelter will work with different organizations to find overnight accommodations.

“We had folks coming in this morning who, I’m not a doctor, but appeared to have frostbite on their faces and on their fingers. So a lot of folks had a really hard night,” said Michael O’Connor, Executive Director of Carpenters Place.

O’Connor says dozens of people asked the organization for help. The non-profit tries its best to equip its residents with whatever they need for another night without a roof over their heads.

“Folks got showers some of them to warm up, laundry lots of folks needed clean dry clothes, so all of those basics are here,” he told 23 News.

Carpenters Place is only a day shelter, so volunteers direct people to one of the nearest overnight warming shelters.

“Some folks who are completely unhoused we were able to get them connected with the city, and they have a hotel to stay in at least this weekend,” O’Connor said.

Molina Healthcare provides hotel rooms for a few of the homeless during this winter freeze, and partners with the city of Rockford, Rockford Rescue Mission, and the park district, with Kandy Kafé providing food.

“We’re delivering food, we’re making sure and I’m in contact with the hotel owner to make sure everyone is safe and taken care of while they’re there,” said Erika Hannah, a representative of Molina Healthcare.

Rooms for ten parties in need will be provided in the city. They’ll be housed until December 26. Molina is also working with partners in Springfield, Moline and Chicago to provide similar services.

Carpenters Place is always looking for donations and volunteers. Especially around this time of year, when gloves, hats, scarfs and coats are needed by many members of the community.