Coalition focuses on helping local people who are homeless.
The Audrain County Shelter Resource Coalition (ACSRC) decided in a meeting May 14 the coalition's focus will be to establish cooling (and eventually heating stations) for local people who are homeless throughout Mexico. The coalition's next goal will be to look into possibly establishing a 24-hour winter shelter.
The coalition met with Randy Sharp's recent visit in mind, in which Sharp described how a homeless shelter was developed in St. Joseph, Mo. He and his colleagues received support from a Catholic charity from St. Louis to obtain funds for the project. Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Shaw said he will contact a Catholic charity from Kansas City to decide if such would be possible in Mexcio.
Pastor Karen Taylor of Mexico United Methodist Church said it will be more important to establish 24-hour warming shelters in the winter months, when it is more dangerous to be outdoors at night than in the summer.
The coalition also agreed assistance to the fledgling Vandalia homeless shelter should be a major focus before a similar shelter should be established in Mexico, in order to gain relative experience and judge whether there is a need for such a project in Mexico.
If a full-time shelter were to be put in place in Mexico, a house would have to be located, donated and the funds to operate such a shelter would have to be gathered from throughout the community. Without a monetary base to begin with development will be difficult, if not impossible.
Anyone who would like to aid in the efforts of the coalition and/or have a potential location for a heating/cooling or a homeless shelter are encouraged to contact Central Missouri Community Action Client Services Coordinator Tad Dobyns.
The next ACSRC meeting will take place from noon-1 p.m, June 11. The location has yet to be finalized, but will likely be the United Methodist Church. Janet Schisser, Deacon of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Columbia, will speak to the coalition on how her church has worked to aid the homeless in the Columbia community and advise as to how similar work can be effectively done in Mexico.