Charity offers overnight spot to stay warm

Last updated: January 24, 2014 - 1:28pm

BLOOMSBURG — AGAPE plans to open its headquarters to anyone who needs warmth starting tonight.

The group, best known for its recovery work after the 2011 flood, will open 19 E. Seventh St. for business from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night beginning now and and running until at least Saturday, Feb. 1, said AGAPE’s director Eileen Chapman.

That’s in addition to its regular hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Chapman said.

AGAPE will have a room for anyone who visits to socialize. They’ll also have some food that volunteers can prepare, Chapman said. And staff will be on hand to help those who show up fill out a form that could get them additional help.

“We just feel like God is calling us to do something” in what is one of the coldest winters in memory, Chapman said.

The group wants to “take care of those who don’t have a place to stay overnight,” she said.

The National Weather Service expects temperatures to dip below 0 tonight, drop to single digits again Saturday night, to 16 on Sunday, and to have lows in single digits through the rest of the week.

People without heat can just show up at AGAPE, Chapman said. No reservations are needed. After Feb. 1, they may want to check the group’s website or a schedule above the building’s entrance for when it will be open.

The aim is to have the building open any night when temperatures dip below 25 degrees, Chapman said.

The group’s board and staff have provided more than a dozen volunteers to help run what it’s calling “Project Frozen.” But Chapman said they can always use more help. Volunteers or those looking for more information on the program can call AGAPE at 570-317-2210.

Check Saturday's edition for a story on AGAPE's effort.

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