“Cold and scary. It was really cold out, windy all night long, with nowhere to go.”
That’s how Cody describes the three months he was homeless last year during the pandemic.
“I had a 7-year-old child, so it was more difficult trying to get into places. “No one really wants you to stay anywhere with having a kid,” said Cody.
Cody is glad to know there will be another winter shelter for the homeless community in Galesburg.
“It’s going to be a lot safer for someone to just be able to get out of the cold and get somewhere safe and warm and have a meal in their stomach at nights,” said Cody.
The City of Galesburg is giving The Salvation Army a grant of $100,000. The money will be used to turn the Hawthorne Center into a winter shelter.
Meghan Templeton, The Salvation Army director, says this will be the first time they’ll be able to offer a winter shelter.
“Primarily right now, when we shelter someone on an emergency basis, we rely on motel rooms. But the cost of that is availability has become a bit of a strain for us. So the shelter should alleviate a lot of the need we’re seeing,” said Templeton.
Although the new winter shelter will hold up to 30 people, the homeless population continues to grow in Galesburg.
“It’s an increasing concern that we have here in Galesburg. We are just seeing a lot of people experiencing homelessness,” said Templeton.
There now will be two shelters to accommodate the needs of the homeless community
“We do have one other shelter here in town – the Rescue Mission – but sometimes it’s full and sometimes it can’t meet the needs for certain people who are experiencing homelessness,” said Templeton.
Meanwhile, Cody is now back on his feet and has a place for his family to call home.
“We got a two-bedroom duplex. I’m working and I do side jobs. It’s making it. We’re making it slowly but surely. We’re getting up on our feet,” said Cody.