Stevens Point Warming Center opens early because of freezing temps

The shelter is only open on nights when temperatures drop to freezing
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - As cold weather creeps across the area, warming shelters are opening up. The warming center at Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church in Stevens Point is already opening its doors because of the colder temps.

It’s the first time in the last 6 seasons that staff has had to open the shelter early. The early opening is a preview of what volunteers expect to be a busy season for the shelter.

“So we take everybody the salvation army won’t,” said Tiffani Krueger, the co-chair for Evergreen Community Initiatives.

It’s the 7th season the warming center has been keeping the homeless sheltered during the cold.

“We opened last night. We actually had over capacity,” said Krueger.

The co-chair for Evergreen Community Initiatives posted on Facebook that they had a full house during their first day of opening on Thursday.

“We don’t turn people away, because it’s too cold to sleep outside,” said Krueger.

Once volunteers heard the weather was dropping, they knew it was time to open the doors.

“We just found out that the weather, only a couple of days ago that the weather is going to drop below freezing and all of a sudden my staff got completely concerned and they said they said we got to get together as quick as we can and we got to open up right away,” said Krueger.

So the shelter opened 17 days earlier than expected. The early opening is a preview of the busy season ahead.

“Last year we almost doubled how many people we had. We had the most we’ve ever had. With the 12-person capacity, only being open for 5 months we had 77 people. I anticipate being a lot larger. I’m nervous about this season. That’s to say for sure,” said Krueger.

With an early opening, comes the need for donations.

“We are actually in desperate need of winter gloves. We need men’s winter gloves, really really bad. We had a lot of people come in without some last night,” said Krueger.

The shelter is also in need of winter jackets, boots, and...

“Volunteers are always needed, always needed. Especially since COVID, we lost most all of our volunteers,” said Krueger.

If you’re interested in dropping off donations, you can drop them off at the Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church in Stevens Point from 8:30 pm to 9 pm or at the Kids Closet. For a full list of items to donate, click here.