Bozeman's warming center fills up as temperatures dip below freezing
The HRDC says beds at the warming center in Bozeman are filling up fast as temperatures plummet. The warming center just opened their doors for the season on November 15, weeks earlier than expected.
Just an hour after opening their doors Wednesday evening, we spoke to Harry Pennington. He has been coming to the warming center for the past three years, and says he was first in line when the doors opened this season.
"I was here the first day it opened and since then," said Pennington.
The warming center provides a safe and warm place for the areas homeless to get a good nights rest.
"We were going to stay here anyway but more so because of tonight. Usually I sleep in my rig which is not the most comfortable but," said Pennington.
Wednesday night temperatures dipped below freezing. Chris Chambers from the HRDC discussed just how essential this shelter can be.
"This being the biggest snow storm that has really stuck since opening, we have had our "soft opening" you could say, and tonight is like our grand opening cause people are really going to be aware of the cold," said Chambers.
Chambers says on average 10 to 12 people have checked in per night since the warming center opened for the season. He says they got up and running just in time.
"We are really lucky to have this open where people can come in for warmth, you know the basic need of shelter," said Chambers.
For Pennigton the warming center is more than just a place to rest his head.
"It is safe, warm, comfortable with good friends, excellent staff," said Pennington.
Chambers hopes all guests feel the same.
"It is just a welcoming place, a place where people can come in, have a cup of coffee, play monopoly, do a puzzle ," said Chambers.