APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – As the temperature outside begins to cool down, more people are in need of a place to warm up.

Homeless shelters throughout northeast Wisconsin have already started preparing as they begin to see an increase in demand. Pillars Inc. in Appleton strives to move its clients to more affordable housing and stable living conditions.

Last year, the Pillars’ Adult and Family Shelter housed 433 adults and 143 children, while the Adult Shelter housed 292 adults. Local Five’s Samantha Petters spoke to Pillars’ Community Engagement Director about how they plan to get ready for another surge of people looking for shelter from the colder temperatures.

“We do also in the winter, thanks to the City of Appleton and some additional funding, have a winter shelter overflow,” said Matthew Malm. “So we’re able to stay open seven days a week which provides a warm space to be during the day as well as some flexible capacity for expanding shelter temporarily during those winter months.”

During the winter months, the shelter tends to see an increase in its waiting list. Preparations for the winter months now include stocking up on supplies and other necessities.

“Right now some of our greatest needs are things to supply people that are sleeping in areas unfit for human habitation so we can always use extra blankets, sleeping bags, hand warmers, foot warmers, and adult-sized waterproof gloves,” said Malm.

While Pillars offers resources in affordable housing to help as many as they can in need, they are hoping to expand those resources in the future.

If you’re looking to donate or learn more about the services they offer, you can go to their website for more information.