Some Henderson warming centers have been busy since a cold snap arrived mid-January.
The Salvation Army opened last Sunday, Jan. 14, normally a day it is closed, to serve as a warming shelter. Not many used the shelter that first day, but as word spread more have come in to warm up during the day, said Maj. Stephen Story on Wednesday. Story said then 100 people from Sunday to Wednesday had come in to get warm and eat a meal.
The Harbor House is also serving as a warming center. Coni Beck, pastor and director of the Harbor House, said about 10 to 20 extra people have come in daily.
She said Wednesday the shelter has also set out an extra eight cots for men to sleep on at night. That raises the total number of beds to 30, she said.
Some have come in with families, and because the Harbor House is a men-only shelter, women and children have had to go to a different spot to sleep at night, Beck said, adding she’s helped them find places.
Story said some who come to the Salvation Army during the day have a place to stay at night, but that the residence doesn’t have electricity. Another couple, Story said, have been heating their home with space heaters.
The Gathering Place and John F. Kennedy Center also serve as warming centers.
Bruce Thomas, director of the JFK Center, said Wednesday that no one has used it for warming, probably because he’s not set up to provide meals. But he said he welcomes anyone who needs to come in and get warm during the day.
Beck said the Harbor House will continue to serve as a warming shelter as long as needed. Even though temperatures may rise above freezing in the coming weeks during the day, it’s still winter and bitter cold at night, she said.
Beck asked the community to pray for those out in the cold, and said Harbor House is in need of donations of paper products, such as toilet paper, and meals.
Henderson warming centers:
- Salvation Army, 1213 Washington Street, warming center 7 a.m-5 p.m. through Saturday
- Harbor House, 804 Clay Street, warming center up till 9 p.m.
- JFK Center, 515 S. Alvasia Street, warming center 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (closed on weekend)
- The Gathering Place, 1817 N. Elm Street, warming center 7 a.m.-3 p.m.