Homelessness during the holidays

Local News

The holidays are a nice time to sit around and spend time with loved one at home, however, some may not have a place to keep warm or have family to be with. Some of the homeless shelters in Erie that are helping to keep the Christmas spirit alive. 

With sleigh bells ready to ring, snow dusting the ground,  most people are getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Some will travel to visit family, others are patiently awaiting the arrival of Santa clause at home. But some are looking for a place to keep warm or find a meal. 


“We’re open all holidays. we rarely shut down. We don’t take breaks. Even though we take shifts, we don’t take breaks as far as the doors being closed. So we’re always open. All the time,” said George S. Watson, Upper Room Staff Member

The Upper Room was one of the shelters in Downtown Erie that opened their doors for the holiday season. Visitors could come and hang out with friends during the day.

“It’s a positive gathering. Like you said, nobody wants to be alone. So they come, they associate when they are done they leave,.” said Waston.

The city mission opens it’s doors to feed those in need.  For the annual Christmas dinner this year they changed up the menu to offer something different. Insisted of ham, they offered General Tso’s Chicken.

“You know there are people who are lonely out there, who don’t have much. They come in and maybe their attitude isn’t what it should be, but hopefully, we can put a smile on their face through the spirit of gods love for them,” said Susan Jepson, Kitchen Manager of City Mission. 

If you or any you know is in need of a shelter to stay at tonight, the Church of the Nativity Old Russian Orthodox on West 7th street will be opening their doors.The Upper Room is planning on hosting a meal as well starting at 12 pm. 

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