Salvation Army serving as 24 hour warming center due to winter weather
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
JONESBORO, Ark- Staff at the Salvation Army are working overtime this week to make sure no one stays cold at night.
The Salvation Army’s currently operating as a twenty-four-hour warming center due to the winter weather.
The past few days they reached capacity.
But Major Jim Lawrence says they will not turn anyone away that needs shelter.
“We had 20 last night and then, of course, three that left this morning. We are at capacity, but we have opened our fellowship hall and the chapel. That’s right across the street from the shelter. And that can house another 15 to 20 people,” says Major Lawrence. “We are making plans as this continues and people come to see us that we’ll have a place for them, and we won’t have to turn anyone away.”
Major Lawrence says they’ve been preparing for this week’s weather for several days.
Since early last week, the Salvation Army’s stayed open twenty-four hours a day around the clock giving, people a warm place to stay and escape from the winter weather.
This is the first time the Salvation Army’s met capacity during the Covid era.
“So, they’re taking advantage of this warming center and, I thank God for that. Usually, when it’s about 32 degrees, you get one to two or three or four. But now, we’re seeing 10, 12, 13 people who are coming into the warming center,” he says.
The city is also looking at possibly opening additional warming shelters if the Salvation Army runs out of room in their overflow facilities.
With no end in sight for this cold weather and snow in the forecast for next week, Major Lawrence says they will keep the warming center open as long as it’s needed.
“It looks like we will be going through at least next Thursday. And we will keep an eye out on the weather and, if we need to extend that, we will. We will do whatever we have to do to take care of our people in Jonesboro.” says Major Lawrence.
The Salvation Army is accepting food donations to feed individuals at the warming center as well as sleeping bags, tents, and winter weather clothing for those there.