For three decades, the Mental Health Association of Northwest Pennsylvania has been offering services and opportunities to Erie’s homeless population.

On Wednesday, the organization got a helping hand from Loving Giving Local, just in time for winter. Perhaps you’ve driven by their building at 11th and Peach streets or seen their sign.

Inside, the Mental Health Association of NWPA operates a drop-in center. A daytime home for Erie’s homeless, and a place for those who need someplace to go.

“Our mission is to provide a safe and welcoming place for adults with mental health needs, who can be themselves, feel accepted, and connected with others who have shared life experiences,” said Patricia Stucke, CEO, MHA.

Every day, dozens of people come here to get off the street and out of the heat or cold. They can watch TV, play pool, enjoy a computer lab and even do laundry and take a shower.

They get a hot meal at lunchtime, but most of all, enjoy a bright clean inviting place where people care about them.

“We have a cross-section of people who have someplace to be but we also have a good portion of individuals who either live in shelters or maybe on the streets. So again, we’re a safe place so that people know somebody does care in this community,” Stucke added.

This week’s Loving Giving Local donation will be used to buy more sleeping bags like this one, which are given to those who need them to stay warm on Erie’s brutally cold winter nights.

“The MHA of NWPA has been giving back to our community for over 30 years. And to know that we’re bringing a donation today and that it’s going to go right back into the community to help with the homeless and to keep them warm this winter, that’s what Loving Giving Local is all about,” said Joe Askins, sponsor, Auto Express Superstore.