Local Organization to Provide Temporary Homeless Shelter

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COLUMBIA - As local homeless shelters are nearing or have reached capacity this winter, city officials and community organizers have come up with a plan to provide temporary assistance for those without a home.

The Imani Mission Center will open its doors on Tuesday to area homeless people for two weeks until the Room at the Inn shelter begins housing guests.

Shelter co-coordinator Jeff Stack calls homelessness an "ongoing disaster."

"We mobilize in our communities when a flood happens, or an earthquake in another part of the world, you know. And what we need to do is kind of look at the reality that in our town maybe a few hundred people are homeless, essentially," Stack said.

Stack said at this point organizers are unsure how many guests the shelter will be able to accommodate, but the city will provide cots on Monday.

Volunteer shifts will run from 6:30pm to 11:00pm, and from 10:30pm to 7:30am. For more information on ways to get involved, call 573-449-4585.