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Despite frigid temperatures, area homeless shelters quiet

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

STERLING – As temperatures dropped below zero, and schools across the Sauk Valley were closed Monday, area homeless shelters did not see an influx of people seeking shelter.

Dixon PADS Homeless Shelter, 805 W. First St., received several calls Monday, but no one showed up looking for a place to stay, said Vanessa White, president of the shelter’s board.

“I haven’t had any requests,” she said. “Obviously, with this kind of weather, I’m going to have to do background checks. But if somebody comes to the door, I’ll let them in.”

In the event that the shelter was going to exceed its capacity set by fire code, White was prepared to call the Dixon Fire Department for a waiver or to plead with area churches for places for people stay, she said.

Twin Cities PADS Homeless Shelter, 111 E. 29th St. in Sterling, has been open 24 hours a day since Christmas, Director Myles Newberry said. While one of its residents graduated out to a permanent home last week, two more people arrived Friday, he said.

But the shelter didn’t see a rush or people Monday, he said, and traffic has been slow recently. It had been busy shortly after opening for the season back in October.

Because of the Sauk Valley’s rural location, it’s harder to identify people who might be in a situation needing shelter, Newberry said. Chicago and the Quad Cities have places where you can find people and get them off the streets, he said, but it’s less defined in this area.

Additionally, the homeless population locally tends to be people on the move, Newberry said, using the Interstate 88 corridor to travel from one place to another, instead of staying put.

Several days ago, a woman who had been staying at Dixon PADS left unexpectedly, White said. She was hoping to make it back or make it to somewhere safe.

“I’m worried about her,” White said.

Need shelter?

For more information about Twin Cities PADS Homeless Shelter, go to www.Facebook.com/TwinCitiesPADS or call the shelter at 815-626-2210.

For more information about Dixon PADS Homeless Shelter, call 815-440-6598 or email whiteva1979@yahoo.com.

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