Hastings homeless shelter reopens

Local4 News at 5
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 8:01 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Crossroads Mission Avenue is officially back open after being closed for more than a month. The homeless shelter’s Hastings location had to close after a sprinkler pipe burst and damaged the building’s electrical panel.

It happened on Christmas night, forcing residents to move to other locations in the city. Crossroads officials said the burst pip caused about $200,000 in damage. They also worked with city officials to find a temporary solution to get the shelter reopened.

“It became apparent that it was going to take a long time to get a panel,” said Crossroads Mission Avenue Executive Director, Daniel Buller. “As we approached cold temperatures coming, which we’re in the middle of now. I had realized that we just really had no option except to get our homeless shelter opened back up.”

Buller said they received daily calls about when the facility would reopen, and said families who didn’t have a place to go asked for help finding temporary housing.

“We had two temporary shelters that were open, about 15 beds for women and about 15 beds for men,” Buller said. “Crossroads has another facility that we’re able to house 10 in. We at least had those beds open but that was very limiting. In fact, we were at capacity the entire time that we were in emergency shelter.”

Buller said it’s a helpless feeling when people in need are calling and there’s not much you can do to help. The temporary homes were at nearby churches and were at full capacity the entire time, but conditions weren’t as comfortable as being in the facility.

“So if you kind of go from that to living inside of a gym or fellowship hall gym like facility it’s uncomfortable,” Buller said. It’s still safe from the elements but it doesn’t have that sense of home.”

Buller said there were also complications with their staff, because they had to manage three facilities instead of one. He also said this made getting the facility back up and running a top priority for them.

“I know that our city workers and people that were involved their busy people, so this may not have been number one on their priority list,” Buller said. “For me, for Crossroads and our board of directors, this became number one priority.”

Buller said with winter weather and wind chills, making sure the shelter was open became a top priority. To make that happen he reached out to concerned city council members. The shelter’s thrift store will reopen Feb. 1.