Harbor House homeless shelter has less funding this year

Directors say they will face challenges during the upcoming months

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The wintry weather has residents bundling up as they go to and from their homes. But for some, home is the Columbia Harbor House homeless shelter.

Directors at Harbor House said this is always the busiest time of year.

"With the weather turning very cold, we're going to have a lot of cots put up each night so people don't freeze to death," said Regional Director for the Salvation Army Cyndy Chapman.

But this year, the shelter is facing some financial challenges.

"Government funding is down this year," Chapman said. "Several of the programs have gotten cuts across the board. We still apply for the same grants, but the pot of money for most of those grants is smaller this year than it has been in years past."

Harbor House is a 61-bed facility. But Chapman said the staff will put up extra cots in the halls if there are more than 61 people who need a warm place to sleep.

Sleeping arrangements are not the only thing in high demand during the cold months.

"We do have more people come in for meals," said Salvation Army Area Director Richard Trimmell. "You don't have to be a resident here to eat lunch. We find especially in the food area it is much more expensive, so we depend on a lot of donations of food items to our pantry."

Trimmell said donors play a huge role in providing funds to keep the shelter in operation, especially during the holiday season.

Both Chapman and Trimmell told ABC 17 News they are ready for this winter and prepared to face the challenges.

Harbor House employees said that right now, they're asking for the public's help to provide blankets, pillow cases, towels and food items.

Anyone wishing to donate any of the needed items can drop them off at the shelter at 602 N. Ann St.

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