Paducah Warming Center Open Friday for First Time
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - The city of Paducah's warming center opened Friday night for the first time, thanks to help from the Salvation Army and the United Way.
The center will open from 8:00 pm until 8:00 am on any night that the temperature is forecast to fall below 32 degrees. The Salvation Army has made their building at 2990 Trimble Street available anytime it's needed, and a staff member will be on hand, along with community volunteers.
Ashley Wright, Executive Director of the United Way of Paducah-McCracken County, said that the arrangement was made with the city in February after they realized the need for a warm place for people who might be homeless, or did not have adequate heat at their home. Training for volunteers was held on Feb. 12 and 21, coordinated by the United Way.
This is the first time the temperature has fallen below freezing since volunteer training and background checks were completed. Wright said 15 people have been trained as volunteers, and they hope to increase that number this fall, as they prepare for next winter.
Wright said the United Way has spent most of the day on the phone in a grass-roots-type effort, contacting organizations that regularly work with the homeless, since they might not have access to normal media sources.
The center will be available through March, whenever temperatures make it necessary.