New smartphone app connects individuals in must wintertime shelter, different assets

As temperatures drop, individuals experiencing homelessness in Springfield can now obtain a free app to search out shelters, meals banks and different assets.

The app, known as Shelter SGF, is new this 12 months.

Christie Love, pastor of The Connecting Grounds church, which serves Springfield-area unsheltered individuals, stated the concept for Shelter SGF has been a very long time coming.

“We simply seen a large hole in communication in our group for people that must find out about assets and likewise must know life-saving data in a essential, time-efficient type of method relating to cold-weather shelters,” stated Love in an interview with KSMU.

Chilly-weather shelters in Springfield are solely open if temperatures are below 32 levels for greater than 4 hours between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. This criterion is ready by the Ozarks Alliance to Finish Homelessness, the group’s official Continuum of Care acknowledged by the U.S. Division of Housing and City Improvement.

There’s a dwell chat perform within the app that messages to The Connecting Grounds’ outreach group. It may be used for any query about assets in Springfield.

For instance, Love stated one individual used the app to ask about grocery supply to a lodge throughout a COVID quarantine.

The app additionally has each day notifications with data on whether or not disaster shelters are open, transportation to shelters and group dinners.

Love stated Shelter SGF isn’t just for homeless residents. The app has details about meals banks, transportation providers, psychological well being help and extra.

“You realize, it is actually for everybody locally,” Love stated. “My hope is that legislation enforcement officers will obtain this app,” she stated. “If they’re partaking with somebody at one or two o’clock within the morning, they’ll say, ‘Hey. Listed here are the shelters which might be open tonight.’”

She additionally encourages paramedics, well being staff and common residents to obtain the app.

Sooner or later, the app can have a dwell mattress tracker to point out availability of shelters. Till then, Love manually updates shelter availability.

“The hope is between the notifications, the fixed supply of information we’re actually going to make some nice strides in our group by way of communication. And getting voices heard that should be heard,” Love stated.

The app is obtainable for obtain on Apple and Android gadgets.

If you happen to don’t have a cell phone, you may apply for a government-issued one, with assist from The Connecting Grounds Group Outreach Middle at 3000 West Chestnut Expressway.

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