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Extreme temperatures prompt local volunteers to open temporary shelters

On Monday, February 15, a temporary warming shelter was established at Lincoln Center, 710 W. 9th St., next to the Pittsburg Aquatic Center. Headed by Joseph Shane Adcock, the Progressive Lateral Aid Network (PLAN) of Pittsburg coordinated the effort in collaboration with the City of Pittsburg. Adcock, Pittsburg State University alumnus and co-founder of The PLAN for Pittsburg, said the community has been generous with the donations used to support his efforts. 

“The community has been exceedingly generous,” Adcock said. “We have more than enough donations and welcome anyone in need to reach out to the Plan for Pittsburg on Facebook so we can hook them up.” 

Adcock said his focus is to help those who need it the most this winter.  

“Our goal is to provide temporary emergency shelter due to extreme temperatures,” Adcock said. “We have everything that a person could need from warm clothes, sleeping bags and blankets to hygiene gear and nonperishable food items.” 

The shelter was able to serve several people from the Pittsburg community. The facility had a limited capacity of 20 individuals, so there was plenty of room for social distancing. Volunteers and visitors wore masks at all times while they were inside Lincoln Center.  

“We had two people the first night, and five people the second night,” Adcock said. “Several people came in to get supplies and get warm but preferred to sleep in their cars.” 

The emergency shelter was open till 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. With the forecast calling for more frigid temperatures and snow, Adcock has been exploring other avenues which would enable them to continue serving those in need. 

“We had to evacuate the Lincoln center at 9 a.m. this morning, but we are working to open either the Wesley House, the YMCA, or the Frisco Event Center for 24-hour shelter through Monday morning,” Adcock said. “We provided rooms at a local hotel for tonight for all the individuals who stayed with us over the last two nights, but we will continue working to secure an overnight emergency space nonetheless.” 

Kim Vogel, Director of the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department, said the shelter was made possible through the efforts of Adcock and other concerned community members. 

“We are grateful for Mr. Adcock setting up the service and to all those who have volunteered their time and provided donations,” Vogel said. “The response from the public has been overwhelming as far as donations are concerned. By late yesterday evening the shelter had all the supplies they felt they would need to operate through Tuesday night.” 

Adcock said Pittsburg Progressives is not your standard charity service. He has numerous plans in the works aimed toward helping people in the Pittsburg community.  

“We’re not interested in becoming another non-profit that promotes false charity while perpetuating structural inequality,” Adcock said. “We are interested in lateral, mutual aid…connecting those who feel the need to help with those who need the help. People helping people. The poor helping the poor. Wherever there are people, there is power, and this community is powerful. We’ve been communicating with all existing charities in the area as well as the city and county to fill the gap left by existing institutions, and we are actively creating solutions to problems that have been unsolved for far too long.” 

Adcock invites those who want to lend a hand, get additional information, or are in need of services to contact him at theplanforpittsburg@gmail.com.  

“We’re just people helping people, collaborating ideas, sharing resources, and trying to make the world a little bit better, starting right here in our own community,” Adcock said. 

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