As temperatures get down to below 10°, people are needing a place to stay warm. What’s keeping people safe during this time are the warming shelters.

It’s cold nights like Thursday that give people in need or who are homeless looking for a warm place to stay, that Marc is very much appreciative of.

“I came here from Warren and I was coming here to get away from some of the things that I was doing there. About two months into being here, I became homeless,” said Marc, Staying at the Upper Room.

Marc has been homeless now for three years and has been staying at the Upper Room during the day to keep warm in the winter. But, it’s his last day there because he was offered a new job and a place to stay back at his hometown.

:Right now, I’d probably would have froze to death out there,” Marc said.

“It’s freezing outside, they have nowhere to go. When they come to us, we provide coffee. When we get food donations, we give it to them. We got clothes, you know, blankets,” said Kenneth Fuller, Organizer at the Upper Room.

According to the organizer of the Upper Room, he says this is one of the busiest years they have had for people needing a warm place to stay.

“Less restrictions and more people out on the streets. You know, once they’re dropped the ‘You can’t kick people out’ thing, we fill up fast. We had 103 people today,” Fuller said.

Once the Upper Room closes at 7:00 p.m., people go to an emergency overnight shelter such as St. Patrick’s Haven. The executive director says they have been completely full most nights due to the colder weather.

“Many of our guests just want to come in and go to bed. They have had a long day on the street and they just want to relax and go to sleep,” said Betsy Weist, Executive Director of St. Patrick’s Haven.

According to Weist, if St. Patrick’s Haven is fully booked, she gives them a number to call to find a warm place to stay.

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For more information on the Upper Room of Erie, you can call (814) 459-6315. It is located at 1024 Peach Street in Erie.

You can also contact the Mental Health Association at (814) 452-4462. It is located at 1101 Peach Street, Ste. 1. or click here.

St. Patrick’s Haven is located at 239 East 12th Street in Erie. For more information, contact (814) 836-4153.