Batesville organizations and church open warming shelter

Batesville organizations and church open warming shelter

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Several organizations work together during the cold months to keep the homeless sheltered and warm.

The First United Methodist Church opens the Grammer House to the homeless when the temperatures get below freezing.

Volunteers help keep those in need warm and fed during the nights.

"Come in out of the elements and warm yourself up," Jayson Brnich with The River Giver said. "You can stay for 12 hours or you can stay for 4 hours. It doesn't matter if you just want to get warmed up."

This week the River Giver and A Step Forward have volunteered to step in when the temperatures are still cold, but not below freezing.

These two organizations will help shelter the homeless at the Grammer House when it is in the 40s or below outside.

"I could not imagine being out on the streets at forty or even forty five," Brnich said. "So we are going to open the doors of this shelter for a warming station from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. when the temperatures dips below 45 or so."

Brnich said the collaborative effort between the church and the two organizations helps not overwhelm the volunteers.

He thanked the First United Methodist Church for all their help and for opening the shelter to those in need.

"We got a warming station, so that is good," Brnich said. "A structured warming station, which puts a smile on my face."

Brnich said the homeless population has grown over the past two years in Batesville.

"We have over 20 cases of chronic homeless people here in the city and it is not going to get any better, it is just going to continue to increase," he said.

Several people in the community are shocked to learn there are more people without a home, but many are now reaching out to help.

"It has just been growing and growing and now it is just coming up and people are raising their eyebrows and saying really we have that many homeless," Brnich said. "It is a surprise to them; I mean it was a surprise to me when I started with the River Giver."

The church and the River Giver always welcome volunteers and donations.

To find out how you can help just call the River Giver hotline at 501-413-2640.

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