Several take advantage of warming center

Martha Sparks msparks@civitasmedia.com

January 29, 2014

During extremely cold temperatures like the area has been experiencing recently, snuggling up with a warm blanket and hot drink in a warm home is what most residents will do. Unfortunately, some people in our area have no house, blanket or food. During this month’s cold temperatures, the LEAD Organization, along with PRIDE in Logan County, has offered a warm shelter, warm blankets and warm food to those in need.

Located at the PRIDE building on the east end of Logan, the warming center is located in the Senior’s Dining Hall.

There is no sign-ups to take advantage of the warming center.

“All you have to be is cold,” Kay Tomblin, president of LEAD, said. “We have vans running that pick people up and tell them what we have to offer.”

Tomblin said the first night the center was open, two people took advantage of the warmth, but had to sleep on the floor. Since then, the Logan Fire Department has offered them cots for those coming in from out of the cold.

“The second night we had eight, last night we had 12,” Tomblin said.

Tomblin said the residents have been very generous in providing warm blankets, food and drinks for those staying at the center.

“We put it out on facebook what we needed and in less than 12 hours we had new blankets, pillow cases, fresh fruit and candies,” Tomblin said. “Just about anything we could possibly want or ask for.”

Those using the warming center can eat a hot breakfast and supper, watch TV and enjoy snacks during the day. PRIDE offers them a free lunch.

Tomblin said that when they leave the warming center, they are offered free clothing, coats and shoes, and a free health kit that such items as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and soap.

“The community involvement has amazed me at how fast it has spread,” Tomblin said.

Tomblin said the warming center will be open at least until Thursday morning when temps moderate.

“We are trying to open the center when the temperature is in the 20s,” Tomblin said. “If we have volunteers to staff it, especially at night. We need volunteers, at least one man and one woman for each shift.”

Tomblin said there only requirement to stay at the center.

“Respect, just basic respect,” Tomblin said.

Tomblin said a homeless shelter is needed in Logan, even if it is something as small as a house.

“Just so we can have a room for the men and a room for the women,” Tomblin said.

The warming center door is open all night, and since it is a smoke free building, those taking advantage of the center are allowed to go outside to smoke.