Zion United Church of Christ will open its doors again this winter as “A Place of Warmth” shelter for single homeless men in Delaware.
“Funds are in place and A Place of Warmth at Zion will be open when inclement weather arrives,” said Jon Peterson, who was last year’s program coordinator.
Church member Mike Newcomb has taken the reigns of the program this year. The church will be open for nights where the weather is predicted to be 20 degrees or below. The shelter, 51 W. Central Ave., will accept homeless from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will stay open until 8 a.m. if any show up.
Newcomb said they have the resources to find a place for homeless women such as a hotel room.
“We’ll find a place for her,” he said.
Connections Volunteer Center and United Way of Delaware County have provided assistance with volunteers to manage the shelter when its operational, he added, and a special-duty police officer will be on site.
“They feel like they’re making a difference,” said Suzanne Pingry, program director at Connections, which helps recruit volunteers using social media and other methods.
She said they had 18 people attend the training session facilitated by United Way last week and plan to have two more from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Zion on Jan. 10 and Feb. 2.
“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this group of concerned citizens,” she said.
The shelter will be open today when temperatures are expected to hit the single digits at night, according to AccuWeather.com. Friday is forecasted to be 19 degrees with Saturday at 27 and Sunday at 14.
Newcomb said he checks the forecast each morning to determine when to make the shelter available.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.
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