Inter-Faith Ministries emergency shelters to remain open over holiday weekend

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Frigid temperatures over the holiday weekend have prompted Inter-Faith Ministries to keep its men’s and women’s Emergency Winter Shelters open from Friday night through Tuesday morning.

The winter shelters normally open only from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day November 1 through March 31.

Inter-Faith Ministries says the women’s shelter houses as many as 25 each night, while the men’s shelter has been averaging about 100 people nightly.

“We don’t have this expense in our operating budget for the EWS,” said Program Director Christen Sampamurthy, “but we also don’t see an option. We do not want anyone to have to be out in this weather. The reason we operate this no-barrier shelter is to keep people safe regardless of their circumstances. With nowhere else for to go during the day this weekend we need to step up for the good of our community.”

Sampamurthy said the additional staffing costs, as well as the cost for additional meals, place a burden on the charity's already tight budget.

Volunteers help with breakfast and evening meals during the season, but IFM will need to provide meals over the weekend.