STAYING WARM: Shelter Serving Homeless

Originally Central Iowa Homeless Shelter and Services maintained its hours of 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. almost all year round. It only extended its hours on days the temperature was either above 100 degrees or below zero.

Now it doesn`t matter what the weather outside is like, because the Des Moines shelter is open 24/7. Something many of its homeless clients are grateful for.

“I`m no longer out in the cold and I’m happy,” Thomas Darnall says of the facility.

Daranal says he`s a survivor thanks to a message he read entering this shelter. That message states, “rock bottom is a solid foundation to which I’ve built my life.”

James Loterbour says building that foundation takes time, and strength, “You have to have thicker skin. You can`t always let people get to you.”

But all the skin in the world can`t protect you from the elements.

Central Iowa Shelter and Services has over 200 beds for homeless men and women.

Executive Director Tony Timm says on cold days like this it`s business as usual and business is booming.

“Obviously on the most servere nights we`ll see a few more people come in but not large influxes because we`re always full right now,” Timm says.

Volunteers say the increase in clients is due to the poor economy. The shelter serves an estimated 2,000 homeless men and women each year.

Volunteers say they`re always looking for clothing donations as well to help during the winter months. Men’s jeans, hoodies and mittens are always sought after.

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