Salvation Army Opens Warming Center in Fitchburg
FITCHBURG -- The Salvation Army has opened a warming center as the region braces for blistering cold temperatures this weekend.
The center will be open at the Salvation Army Corps Community Center at 739 Water St. from noon to 6 p.m. every day from Friday through Monday.
Soup, chili, coffee and hot chocolate will be served at the warming center, said Salvation Army Advisory Board member Dave MacDonald.
“We know it’s very cold and we hope you take advantage of our center and come on down and get a warm meal,” he said.
The temperature in Fitchburg of Friday is expected to reach a low of 1 degree by evening with a wind chill of -13 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters predict a high of 17 degrees and a low of 3 degrees on Saturday. On Sunday, arctic lows are expected to reach -7 degrees.
Our Father’s House and the Salvation Army are running the center for all four days, which is open to anyone in the northern county who needs a warm space through the cold snap this weekend, said Director of Homeless Services Kevin MacLean.
No drugs, alcohol or weapons are allowed.
“It’s a warm building, it gives people who are cold for whatever reason, not necessarily homeless, cold living in a place that doesn’t have heat ... a chance to come in get out of the cold weather,” he said.
Our Father’s House needs blankets, MacLean said. Donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army or City Hall.
Though the warming center closes at 6 p.m., MacLean said arrangements will be made for those who need shelter overnight.
The police department is on call to transport people to the warming center, said Chief Ernest Martineau.
“We’re looking for the best solutions to help out,” said Martineau. “However we can assist the Salvation Army and Our Father’s House, we’re here to help and be part of the team.”
Mayor Stephen DiNatale said he hopes both residents and non-residents will use the warming center if they need to.
“As usual the services are available, they have to avail themselves of them,” he said.