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One warming shelter says they will not turn away anyone who is seeking shelter this weekend

Warming Shelter
Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-13 20:56:45-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — The non-profit organization known as Hope COS said they will not turn away anyone who is seeking shelter this weekend. Because of low temperatures, Hope COS has opened three warming shelters in Colorado Springs.

Volunteers with Hope COS said on Friday night they had over 300 people needing a warm place to stay and they expect an additional one hundred more people on Saturday night.

Vanessa Vargas is a Shelter Coordinator with Hope COS. She said

“We're not going to let people out there freeze at all,” Vargas said.

Vargas and her team at Hope COS have one goal this weekend.

“Our main goal is to keep them safe and to keep them warm. That's the main goal.” Vargas said.

With temperatures in the single digits, Hope COS has opened three warming shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

“They have a place to sleep where they can eat and be fed and use the restroom and stay out of the weather conditions,” Vargas said.

Local churches in Colorado Springs are allowing them to use their space in order to cook and to set up cots so people have a place to sleep.

“When they come in they're freezing so the first thing we try to do is get them checked in,” Vargas said. “Some of them are looking at frostbite or some of them are coming in, in a wheelchair or some of them are in great condition and or some of them just need a little bit of catering and we try to address every single one of those issues,” Vargas said.

Vargas said depending on donations, they try to give people a fresh pair of socks and gloves. She said they also serve three meals a day.

“The first thing we want to do is make sure that their belly is full and make sure that they have something warm to drink so that they can hydrate their body with water because they don't get that very often,” Vargas said.

Hope COS also relies on volunteers to help prepare snacks and hand out food.

“We just have a wonderful group of volunteers that are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that they're okay. I love it because a lot of us are fearless. We're willing to take on whatever,” Vargas said.

She said no matter the condition, they will not leave anyone behind.

“We house everyone. We don't keep anybody out of our doors,” Vargas said.

Vargas said many of the people who are looking for help are very kind, compassionate and thankful.

“They really just need to be shown a little bit of grace and a little bit of love. And when you show them that they're willing to do the same for you and they're willing to show you the world and a lot of them are willing to accept a lot of help that you have for them, even if it's not much,” Vargas said.

Hope COS is a non-profit that runs on small donations and they are looking for more volunteers to help out.

The shelters will be open through Tuesday. Vargas said if these low temperatures stick around they will not close their doors, but extend the warming shelters.

The Springs Rescue Mission is another warming shelter in Colorado Springs.
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