Helping Hands

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

After four hours of contentious debate Tuesday night, the Springfield City Council approved the location of a 24-hour center that would provide emergency shelter and health services to the homeless.

The vote Tuesday night was 8-2, with Ward 2 Ald. Shawn Gregory and Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner voting against the measure.

Supporters of the Center for Health and Housing, to be placed at 521 S. 11th Street, say it will have multiple services under one roof and bring needed medical services to the city’s East Side.

Mary Hansen / NPR

Keith Treadwell says it took some time for him to talk about the trauma experienced. The 46-year-old lives in Springfield and is part of the supportive housing program with Helping Hands.

“I took advantage of the help that they have there and got an apartment with a roommate,” he said. “And my life has been looking up ever since.”

courtesy

Across the country record-breaking freezing temperatures have apparently led to the deaths of at least eight people, likely homeless, stuck out in the cold. Earlier this week a man was found dead in or near a dumpster in St. Louis. 

wuis.org

Springfield's effort to reduce panhandling in the downtown area is facing a legal challenge.   While business owners say a city ordinance has worked, critics say it infringes on free speech rights.
 

Darrell Hoemann/ Midwest Center For Investigative Reporting

  Food pantries and homeless shelters say they're beginning to notice repercussions of a reduction in food stamps that will take effect Fri., Nov. 1. A temporary hike in benefits that kicked as a result of the recession expires this week.

Individuals enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could see their benefits cut by $11 a month. A family of four could see a decrease of $36.