Truesdale shelter could be used as new warming center

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 10/17/23

The MaryLou Community Center in Truesdale could serve as an emergency warming shelter for Warren County, Missouri, residents this winter.

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Truesdale shelter could be used as new warming center


Truesdale officials and Agape Ministries of Warren County are discussing plans to use the MaryLou Community Center as a warming shelter this winter.

The shelter would be part of the Emergency Weather Response that currently serves Warren, St. Charles and Lincoln counties. 

Currently, there is no warming shelter in Warren County.

“They’ve been asking us for years now to try to get something happening in this county,” Michelle Bernth, Agape executive director, said during the Sept. 27 Truesdale board of aldermen meeting. “We didn’t have a great location up until your building was built.”

The MaryLou Center currently serves as the county’s emergency tornado shelter.

The warming shelter would be activated, along with all shelters in the three-county region, when temperatures drop below 20 degrees, Bernth said.

There were concerns about what happens if the building is rented for some type of activity on a night it is needed to serve as a warming shelter. But aldermen agreed that it should be used for its initial purpose.

“It’s a weather emergency,” Board of Aldermen President Mike Thomas said. “That’s what the feds said they built this building for and I just feel like we can’t lose sight of that fact.”

Residents of the three counties in need of a warm place to sleep on those nights have a phone number to call and then are directed to the nearest shelter.

On nights when the shelter is activated, doors would open at 9 p.m. They would be locked at 11 p.m. and all those taking advantage of the shelter would have to leave no later than 7 a.m. Transportation would be provided to those in need to take them back to their residence or another safe location.

Aldermen took no official action on the measure at the meeting.

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at

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