SPRINGFIELD (AP) - The Salvation Army in Springfield says an alarming number of people have been using its cold-weather shelter this month.
The nonprofit group opens the shelter whenever the National Weather Service predicts an overnight wind chill of 14 degrees or below.
KOLR-TV reports the shelter first opened this year on Dec. 10 and had about 40 people that night. Salvation Army Maj. Norman Grainger says that 44 people showed up Christmas night, and the shelter was open again Wednesday.
Some at the shelter are repeat visitors. But Grainger says the Springfield facility has already had 78 "unduplicated" visitors month, compared with 95 in all of last winter. He calls this month's figure a "frightening" number.