Homeless shelter sees high demand for services

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The temperatures aren't subzero at night anymore, but the demand is still high at some Wichita homeless shelters.

At Interfaith Wichita's Emergency Shelter in downtown Wichita, volunteers have already served more than 500 individuals since opening two months ago. They expected to serve that many through the entire season. 

"We certainly have a need in this community for extra help," said Robin McGonigle, a board member at Interfaith Ministries. 

Even as the sun set early Friday evening, a line of people had already formed. 

"They've got good food here, and it's where you can come rest at," said Demetrius, who said he's been homeless for at least a year. He later added that if it weren't for that shelter, he'd be living on the streets. 

Interfaith volunteers said that they've been swamped with pleas for help, particularly after a blast of bitterly cold air hit southern Kansas last week. The shelter even kept its doors open during the daytime, something that doesn't typically happen.

That meant more volunteers were called upon to make meals and stay at the shelter while it was open longer. Interfaith hopes that volunteers will continue to step in and help, with the worst of winter potentially still to come.

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