Warming shelter at Salvation Army helps people during deep freeze in western Stark County.
If it just helped only one person, then it served its purpose, Fire Chief Tom Burgasser said Monday about a warming station set up to help residents through noon today.
The warming center at the Salvation Army, 315 Sixth St. NE, did just that — and ended up helping a handful of people as temperatures dropped and the wind became dangerous to exposed skin.
Three people stopped in Monday and two men were at the center Tuesday, said social worker Connie Morrison.
The intent was for the warming station to be a temporary place to help people warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee for a few hours. One man stopped in before and after work, Morrison said.
Israel Daniels was grateful for the warming station Tuesday morning.
“I’m homeless and at night I go to IHOP or Denny’s and I drink coffee all night,” he said. “It (the warming station) gave me some rest.”
Becky Mathess, homeless service coordinator, has known Daniels for a few years and she set up a cot for him and made him a couple of warm meals Tuesday.
A TV was on and a few tables and chairs were set up, along with board games and some refreshments available to anyone who stopped in. The Salvation Army supplied Daniels with toothpaste and soap and a brochure with resources to help him out.
He used to work on trucks and he lived with a friend in Akron, but since his friend encountered health problems, Daniels has been out on his own. It didn’t help that someone stole his belongings and phone about a month ago.
“As soon as this weather blows off, I’m going to try to get me a job,” he said. “I’m waiting for this weather to clear.”
Daniels said he nodded off at McDonald’s on Monday night and missed his bus. A supervisor there told him about the warming station at the Salvation Army.
“I’m by myself right now, I don’t have family,” the 43-year-old said. “I’m moving on with my life. I’m trying to do everything on my own right now. This is one of the organizations that helps me out. They help me out with shelter and they help me out with food. It’s a blessing.”
Mathess said Massillon residents can stop by or call if they are in need of coats or warm clothing. The Salvation Army can be reached at 330- 833-6473.
Reach Christina at 330-775-1133
On Twitter: @cmccuneINDE