Heating centers are available as cold sets in – The Daily Reporter

Heating centers are available as cold sets in – The Daily Reporter

HANCOCK COUNTY – Step outside for two minutes and you will no doubt know that winter has finally arrived. The earth is frozen, frost is visible, and warmer temperatures are heading south faster than a jet full of spring-breakers.

Some of the coldest weather of the season has arrived, with low temperatures the next two days around 10 degrees and temperatures well below freezing. The county’s community organization Active in Disaster wants to remind people that it plans to have a warm-up center open at one of its designated locations.

The Landing, 18 West South Street is the capital of the heating center with Greenfield Christian Church, 23 North East Street and Evangel Church 1221 East Main Street as backup locations. Hancock Hope House 35 East Pierson, Greenfield, is the alternative place if one of the other places could not host. Anyone interested in finding out which side is open during the night should check with signs posted at Kenneth Butler Soup Kitchen around noon.

The site for tonight’s and Friday’s heat center will be at Landingen.

Jim Peters of the Salvation Army Hancock County, co-chair of COAD, said volunteers are ready to welcome anyone who needs to get out of the cold.

But with more cold nights in the forecast, the effort could still use some volunteers to work a few shifts and help monitor.

“When we have to put three and four nights together where it looks like we can be here in the coming days, it’s really hard,” Peters said.

While COAD has been able to get a few volunteers to help, they still need others to step forward so people do not have to work overnight several nights in a row.

“We have people who are willing to do that, but we would rather not ask so much of others,” Peters said.

Like other organizations, COAD is also aware of COVID. More volunteers are currently in quarantine, making the need for new volunteers important. As for volunteers being exposed to COVID, Peters said they take people’s temperatures and ask questions before allowing anyone to stay overnight at a heat center.

“We are super cautious and go beyond the new CDC guidelines,” Peters said.

While Peters noted that while coordinators prefer that everyone who wants to volunteer be trained, they will not reject any volunteers at this time. They just want volunteers to quickly pick up a few important things they need to notice and that they have a comfortable level to keep an eye on those seeking shelter.

With rising heating costs and other problems, the need for a warm place to stay overnight can be imposed on everyone in the winter, not just the homeless.

“We want people to see these places as a safe, appropriate place to find warmth for everyone in need,” Peters said.

Peters noted that it is difficult to reach a real number of those who are actually homeless in the area, but he said that they are out there and he hopes that members of the local community keep an eye on those who are busy with the cold, and direct them to the heating center.

“There’s nothing worse than being cold and someone who thinks they have nowhere to go,” Peters said.

Hancock County Warming Center Information:

Open:

From 19:00 to 08:00

Locations:

The Landing, 18 West South St (primary location)

Greenfield Christian Church 23 North East Street.

Evangel Church 1221 East Main Street.

Alternative location:

Hancock Hope House 35 East Pierson, Greenfield. (Check with signs posted at Kenneth Butler Soup Kitchen by going there for dinner).

Parameters:

Temperature below 30 degrees or wind cooling below 20, with flexibility with things like precipitation.

Who is welcome?

Not just for the homeless. Any without safe sufficient heat. Some places will be open every night until mid-March.

Anyone wishing to volunteer at the Heat Center should call Peters at (317) 372-2304.

New meeting for COAD and EMA groups:

The EMA Volunteer Group and the Hancock County COAD will begin meeting. The two groups each refocus their training and activities to work more closely together.

The meetings will consist of training appropriate to the roles of the groups during a disaster. Meetings held on the first Thursday of each month at 19.00 at Emergency Operations Center, 640 South Franklin Street, Greenfield. The public is encouraged to attend.

The first meeting is on Thursday 6 January at 19.00

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