Volunteers needed for warming shelter

Staff report

SIDNEY — Since The Salvation Army opened its warming shelter, Jan. 1, Six people have stayed there.

The shelter averages two people per night.

There is a need now for volunteers who can stay overnight at the shelter, to keep it open.

The Salvation Army will have a volunteer training class, Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m., at the Salvation Army’s facility, 419 N. Buckeye Ave. Volunteers need to be at least 18, available to stay overnight and complete a free background check. The training class will be led jointly by the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, in order to provide volunteers with the best information available on how to run a warming shelter. Potential volunteers will be given a demonstration and tour, so they can see the operation up close.

“There have been some very cold nights during January, and we are pleased that we are able to provide this service to the community,” said Lt. Joseph Hansen, of the Salvation Army. “We have been very blessed to have some very dedicated volunteers to stay overnight and make sure that the clients are well taken care of.”

During January, however, the warming shelter was closed for two nights because there were not sufficient volunteers to man the shelter.

When The Salvation Army learned of the need to take over the warming shelter, the leadership decided to make the shelter a nightly shelter instead of a temperature shelter. In years past, a shelter would only open on nights when the temperature dropped below 20 degrees. Currently, the shelter is open every night, no matter what the temperature.

“It is a great comfort to know that there is someplace to go to get in out of the cold at night,” said one of the clients of the shelter, speaking anonymously.

Vaughn Browning, of Sidney, a volunteer at the warming shelter, said that he does not like the prospect of closing even one night.

“I just really hate the idea of people being stuck outside when it is so cold, especially when we can help,” said Browning.

For information, call 492-8412.

Staff report