Church opens warming shelter during dangerously cold nights

Church opens warming shelter during dangerously cold nights
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - With the wind chill dropping into the single digits this week, it is dangerous for someone without a home to be out in the cold all night long.

So, the Batesville First United Methodist Church on Main Street is offering a place to stay for those in need.

"We open it anytime the temperature is below 25 degrees," church lay leader Mike Wilson said. "As long as it stays below 25, we will continue to be open."

The warming shelter is in the church's Grammar House.

They also provide warm clothes to those who come to the shelter. Many of those items come through donation.

"Honestly, it sounds silly, but the biggest thing we could use is underwear," Wilson said. "We've got quite a few socks but we're completely out of men's underwear and ladies underwear and that's what we need."

Wilson said they are also in need of volunteers to stay at the shelter so they can open it more often.

"We'd like to move it to 32 [degrees] and inclement weather, we just don't have the volunteers," he said.

On these cold nights, their doors open at 6 p.m. and the volunteers will wait until 10 p.m. to see if anyone shows up.

They also provide a shower and feed the people who stay there a dinner and breakfast.

Wilson said they do this because Jesus commands the church to feed and shelter his people.

The church also serves a breakfast every Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

They have a "blessing box" near the front entrance of the church as well, which holds food items that anyone in need can stop by and take.

"We particularly want items that children [can make], like easy-open cans, crackers, peanut butter, things like that so children can use them," Wilson said.

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