In the wake of multiple cold snaps, City Councilor Jesse Lederman called a meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee to evaluate Springfield's Cold Weather Response Plan, and hear an overview of available shelter services and policies within the city.
Present at the meeting were the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing, the Springfield Police Department, and the Friends of the Homeless Shelter, as well as homeless advocates and activists.
See the coverage from Western Mass News Reporter Seena Sleem below, or check out the original story and video here.
"Springfield evaluates cold weather response plan
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -
Dangerously low temperatures has the Springfield community concerned for our vulnerable and homeless population.
Tuesday evening's Health and Human Services Committee meeting focused on public safety for all Springfield citizens.
We’ve been seeing a string of cold snaps over the last two months, and the city wants to make sure everyone has a warm place to stay in.
The meeting included Springfield police, Friends of the Homeless Shelter, and the Springfield Rescue Mission among many others.
Springfield City Councilor at-large and Chairman of the Human Services Committee Jesse Lederman told Western Mass News it’s important to discuss an overview of shelter policies and services available to the city in order to protect everyone.
"Obviously there were a lot of people in the city concerned about our most vulnerable population and essentially our homeless population with the weather and temperatures reaching such a low points and we want to ensure the city that we are doing whatever we can for public safety for all of our residents," said Lederman.
He added there has been such a high demand, that there was even an overflow shelter that opened up by concerned residents and volunteers at Springfield’s city church.
If you ever see someone in the cold that might need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
You can contact the Friends of the Homeless Shelter by calling 413-732-3069, the Springfield Rescue Mission at 413-732-0808, or the Springfield Police Department at 413-787-6355."