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Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 11:48 pm

SHELTER FROM THE STORM

The Springfield Overflow Shelter got a late Christmas present this week – a $15,000 donation from the United Way of Central Illinois to keep SOS open and fully-funded until the end of March.

SOS provides overnight shelter to homeless individuals each winter at the former Methodist church on Fifth Street and Capitol Avenue. The Salvation Army of Springfield, which is running the shelter this year, appealed to the United Way for emergency funds to address a budget shortfall that would have seen the shelter without funding by the end of January.

“Over 20 years ago, our organization’s visionary leaders created the Emergency Fund to enable the United Way to respond to the community’s emergencies in a meaningful way,” said John Kelker, president of United Way of Central Illinois. “By providing this support, we are fulfilling our mission of mobilizing resources to meet community needs.”

Shelter director Archie Ford said the funds will see the shelter through until it closes for the season.

“This Overflow Shelter provides a warm, safe bed out of the harsh winter cold and one could say it literally saves lives,” Ford said. “We are very grateful for the support the United Way has offered and thank them on behalf of all the homeless men and women who use the shelter.”
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