Local Shelters Ready For Winter Storm

A thermometer in the snow showing cold temperatures. Picture courtesy of (Thinkstock.com) Columbia Daily Tribune.
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A winter storm is expected to roll through the Naperville area Thursday afternoon and local community shelters say they’re ready for it.

“We’ve always been proactive, to provide those services that are so critical and nights like we have coming up where honestly people’s lives are going to be at risk if they’re out there,” said Hesed House Executive Director Joe Jackson.

With dangerous wind chills reaching down to -35 degrees, being outside is firmly not recommended. 

Shelter Provided At Hesed House

In as little as 20 minutes, the low wind chills can cause frostbite on exposed skin. Hesed House in Aurora knows that and says that they’ve gone through this before.

“I don’t want to say it’s business as usual, but these are the things that we are prepared for each and every day of the year,” said Jackson. “So here at Hesed House, we’ve been repurposing some different areas of the shelter to create as much capacity as we possibly can, because capacity is an issue at shelters all over the country.”

How DuPage PADS Has Prepped For The Winter Storm

Places like DuPage PADS, which houses 297 people, also help ensure no one has to brace the freezing temperatures. The organization has been fully committed to preparing for the upcoming storm. 

“We do have volunteers coming to bring special meals over the holidays,” said DuPage PADS CEO April Redzic. “But if they’re also stuck in the storm and can’t get out, we want to make sure everyone fed so we have like two layers of backup options whenever there’s weather like this to make sure everyone is not only in a warm, safe bed but also fed and well and have all the resources that they need.”

DuPage PADS will have extra staff on call, helping people at the on-site location in Downers Grove and through their street outreach team around DuPage county.

“Safe lodging is health care,” said Redzic. “Without it, you can die in the elements. So it is super critical for us to ensure people have a safe place to stay and we are committed to continuing doing that.”

Naperville Warming Shelters

DuPage County has a new 2-1-1 service, where you can call from anywhere to find the closest warming center.

“Our hope would be that they will call before and stay safe,” said Redzic. “And we always encourage people if they are unsheltered and it’s freezing, there’s a storm, and If there are unsafe conditions, what we really want them to do is go to their local warming center.”

You can also find the available warming centers by looking at the DuPage and Will County website. 

Naperville News 17’s Joe Kennedy Reports.

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