Leader Photo by Scott WilliamsWith snow and brutal cold weather approaching, Jennifer Bisterfeldt, executive director of SAM’s House homeless shelter in Shawano, prepares a community room for a possible surge in demand for shelter services.
You are watching: Dawn hamilton car accident
Leader Photo by Scott WilliamsJennifer Bisterfeldt, executive director of SAM’s House homeless shelter in Shawano, checks a supply of extra clothing ready for guests during the cold winter weather.
With the winter season’s first severe weather on its way, Shawano’s homeless shelter and other emergency services are bracing for a wintry wallop.
SAM’s House homeless shelter expects high demand for its emergency overnight shelter services when the snow hits this weekend and then temperatures turn frigid.
“We don’t want anybody to be out in the cold,” said Jennifer Bisterfeldt, executive director of the shelter.
The National Weather Service is forecasting that Northeastern Wisconsin could get its first significant snowfall of the season this weekend, with perhaps 5 inches of accumulation by Sunday. That will be followed by temperatures dropping to single digits early next week.
Shawano Police Lt. Dan Mauel said city officials are prepared for the brutal weather and are urging motorists and other residents to exercise caution.
“All applicable city departments are fully prepared to deal with the cold and snow of winter,” Mauel said. “We encourage people to pay attention to the weather conditions and dress appropriately.”
For those living homeless, SAM’s House offers emergency shelter and other assistance daily between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. at its facility at 213 E. Green Bay St.
Now in its second season, SAM’s House served 58 people during its inaugural season, providing 630 nights of shelter and nearly 1,000 meals. The facility operates between Nov. 1 and April 30.
Bisterfeldt said she has enlisted extra volunteers to help manage a possible surge in demand for services this weekend when the extreme weather hits. With a capacity of 15 people overnight, the shelter already has filled up periodically this season and could max out again this weekend.
“We’re always kind of on the verge of being full,” she said. “As the weather gets colder, that’s always a high possibility.”
SAM’s House, operated by a nonprofit volunteer organization, welcomes extra volunteers and donors willing to contribute food, clothing or other materials.