Sometimes we only think of things when we actually need them. That’s why the Salvation Army wants people to know they are a shelter if the weather gets so bad they have no place to be warm and comfortable.
“We’ve done this the past several years and we anticipate that this coming year will be no different,” Lieutenant Jeremiah Eisley of the Portsmouth post of the Salvation Army said. “We have cots and more importantly we have very willing volunteers who will be able to man the post throughout the night if necessary”
Eisley said if no one comes to the Salvation Army door before 11:30 p.m. to midnight, they will secure the station.
“If somebody comes before that time, it stays open all night and people can sleep and have a cup of coffee, and usually, depending on the donations, we try to provide a breakfast early in the morning before people head out on their own way,” Eisley said.
The Daily Times asked how people could support the efforts of the Salvation Army.
“They can either mail it directly to our location here at 1001 Ninth St. in Portsmouth,” Eisley said. “They can walk in donations to our office from 9:30 in the morning to 12:30 (p.m.) or 1-2:30 in the afternoon. It can be cash or check. That all stays local and helps us with our ongoing efforts here, including that cold weather shelter. Just keeping that gym heated in a drafty 60 year old building costs a lot.”
Donations also go toward support costs which include the food and coffee.
“We have plenty of blankets,” Eisley said. “The people of Portsmouth have been extremely generous with coats and blankets, so we’re already sure if somebody comes in and they’re not quite ready for the weather and they find themselves in a pinch, we’re able to get coats and blankets to those people free of charge.”
Eisley said the Salvation Army has contact with the emergency agencies in Scioto County.
“When an emergency is declared, we go into action,” Eisley said. “But it should also be noted that, if we do notice that night time temperatures are supposed to drop below 25 degrees, and if we have manpower available, we tend to keep the warming shelter open despite it not being a county-wide emergency.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.