ST. LOUIS — St. Louis area nonprofits are pleading for the community's help, now that the temperatures outside have drastically dropped.
The bitter cold on Saturday afternoon came faster than many anticipated, including Michael Robinson, City Hope St. Louis CEO and Founder.
"Totally didn't expect it, but surprise, it's here now," he said.
For Robinson, cold temperatures mean it's time to work.
"It puts us in fast mode, and it causes us to have to move very swiftly to get shelters opened up," he said.
Even the night before the low temperatures came, Robinson had to turn some people away.
"There is some level of urgency that we all should feel now. As usual, our ultimate goal for the winter is to ensure that no one dies," he said.
With that urgency comes the need and right now, according to Robinson, they desperately need food to feed the unhoused individuals, especially with colder days ahead.
"We're not going to let people go. I looked at the forecast, and it's going to be into the 20s. We're going to keep those individuals in the building 24/7, so that's going to require three meals a day," he said.
It's a similar story at the St. Patrick Center in St. Louis, as the days get colder demand gets higher, according to Senior Director of Philanthropy, Amanda Laumeyer.
"The cold really affects our clients. I mean, obviously, if you're unhoused, and you're outside, it is more difficult, and it can be more challenging," she said.
While that's the case every year, Laumeyer said, this winter is different.
"I've been at St. Patrick Center for seven years, and this is the first time that we are seeing that our supplies, such as our pantry or those winter weather items, are going so quickly," she said.
According to Laumeyer, fewer donations coming in and clients staying longer are why they're in desperate need of these necessities.
"We're about to experience a very busy time for our clients, so we're in need of a lot of different things," she said.
Like Robinson, Laumeyer is hoping the community can lend a hand.
"There's a lot of different ways that someone can help St. Patrick Center and the people that we serve," she said.
City Hope St. Louis desperately needs food, including hot pre-made lunch and dinner meals and breakfast items like rice, oatmeal, grits and breakfast sandwiches.
You can donate directly on the website here or call 314-904-HOPE.
City Hope St. Louis is also hosting a sock drive throughout the month of November. You can drop off socks at 4001 Maffitt Ave. or at their new headquarters located in the Delmar Divine building at 5501 Delmar Blvd.
The St. Patrick Center needs food for their pantry, like canned goods. Also, they need winter weather items like coats, scarves, hats and gloves.
You can donate on the website here or drop off items at 800 N. Tucker Blvd from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Someone who is unhoused can call 314-561-0278, which is the St. Patrick Center's 24/7 mobile outreach service line. 211 is also available to anyone in need of services help.