Local organization provides warm shelter for those in need during cold nights

Local News

As the temperatures get colder outside, those in need are left fighting to stay warm.

One organization however is putting those need in a warm place for the night.

It’s a cold night tonight which leaves a line of people waiting to enter the First Presbyterian Church to get food, a hot shower, and a warm place to sleep which they may not have experienced for a while.

As the temperature gets colder, people who are homeless are left to deal with the rough winter months struggling to keep warm.

One organization however known as Our Neighbor’s Place, aims to help the homeless find warm places to stay through different churches in Erie.

“So many of them are very, very grateful and we have formed kind of a family for many of those at the shelter,” said Pat Tracy, Coordinator for Our Neighbor’s Place.

On Tuesday night, people in need were welcomed to stay the night at First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant where they had 33 beds available.

“They each got two blankets, a woolen one to put at the bottom, a lighter blue fleecy type they get. There are showers available here, they have ladies and men’s showers available to them,” said Dale Sweet, Church Coordinator for First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant.

Volunteers will make sure each person also gets a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, lotion and deodorant.

“We do this because we enjoy helping out whoever we can when we can,” said Randy Dehn, Volunteer.

Coordinator Tracy said that they never turn anyone away. Even if all of these beds are filled up they always give those in need another option to stay elsewhere.

“If we are full, if every cot is full and someone comes to the door and there is nowhere place for them to stay, the county will put them up in the Avalon Hotel for that night so no one has to stay out in the cold,” said Tracy.

Each person will be tested for COVID-19 and have their temperatures checked before entering the building.

For those who might be positive for COVID they will be placed in a hotel to quarantine.

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