Warming center "Pops Up" in Jonesboro

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Martin Luther King Day is about remembering his legacy and promoting equality.

One group of people in Jonesboro decided to take this day a step further.

Volunteer Program Specialist for the city of Jonesboro Chelsea Chapman said she wanted to help those in need.

"Today we're having a Martin Luther King Day of Service," Chapman said. "We have a Pop Up Warming Station with a lot of donations for people to come and get. We have gloves, hats, scarves. We have hot hands to put inside of your gloves."

Chapman said this service day is about helping any members of the public in need.

"Through Americorp Vista we're required to do a service day," Chapman said. "For Martin Luther King Day and for September 11. At our Pop Up Warming Center, we have lots of warm soups, drinks, and lots of warm items. We even have sweaters and coats. They are all here for the public to come out and receive."

Chapman said she has seen the need in Jonesboro first hand.

"Working with the HUB a lot," Chapman said. "Seeing the homeless people sometimes standing on the end of Bridge Street. And you know, sometimes we give them money and think that it'll help them. But I feel like if we can do something that will connect them to services that it'll help them more in the long run. Here, we'll be able to talk to them about going to the HUB and other places where they can get and receive services in Jonesboro. So, that was what really gave me the idea. Along with the really, really cold weather. I hate to be cold, so I can only imagine how it is for someone who is homeless or underserved."

Chapman said seeing the need was what inspired her to create the Pop Up Warming Center.

"The need is very big," Chapman said. "I've done a lot of work with HUB located at 711 Union, and we do have a homeless population here in Jonesboro. And, of course, with the weather, you can see it's pretty frigid and cold. So, we just wanted to provide some warm things for them because it is a definite need here in Jonesboro."

Chapman said she wants to do more than help them today.

She wants to help them long term, as well.

"It's just trying to reach out to them," Chapman said. "We want to connect them with other places they can go instead of just something that is right there and in the moment."

The Pop Up Warming Center was open to the public from 10:00 a.m. Monday until 2:00 p.m.

For more information, you can reach Chapman at cchapman@jonesboro.org.

You can also go to the Jonesboro Community Connection by clicking here or learn about volunteering by clicking here.

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