Lee Erwin Reporting
Clarksville, Tenn. – With wind chill below zero for the next couple of days, some Clarksville churches and other agencies have opened their doors to the homeless and those in need of a warm place to stay.
The “Warming Shelter” at First Baptist Church 435 Madison Street was the work of Manna Café Ministries with a number of other local organizations joining in to help. The shelter opened at 4:00 p.m. Sunday and is scheduled to remain open until Wednesday, January 8 at noon.
As of around 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening when the temperature started to plunge close to a dozen local people had made their way to the church gymnasium which had cots and blankets and food being served by Manna Café volunteers.
According to Manna Café volunteer Jaemi Seranno the effort was also supported by the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Action Agency and the United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region.
Seranno said that about 68 volunteers had signed up to help at the shelter from now through Wednesday.
Seranno added that Canyon Road Steakhouse and Beer Garden has donated some soups and breads and Little Caesar’s on Madison Street is donating pizzas on Tuesday night. Seay Oil Company also made a monetary donation to help with items that were needed for those using the shelter.
One of those people taking advantage of the warming shelter and a hot meal was Jerry Green. “I think the opportunity is great that a place can be opened up during the snow and feeding us and everything, it’s a blessing, it’s one of the greatest feelings ever,” said Green.
Manna Café is distributing Clarksville Transit System bus passes provided by the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Action Agency for those needing transportation to the shelter. For more information or to find out how you can help call Jaemi Serrano of Manna Café at 931-933-0970.
New Providence United Methodist Church also has a warming shelter at 1317 Fort Campbell Blvd. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided Monday and a hot meal will be served Tuesday night. According to Pastor BJ Brack, they have plenty of blankets and space for anyone in need. The shelter will remain open through Wednesday at 7:00am (though will be closed Tuesday from 7:00 am through 4:30 pm.) For information, contact Pastor Brack at (931) 572-8867