Getting out of the cold

Trinity Lutheran Church opens shelter until noon on Saturday

Trinity Lutheran Church at 1011 S. 3rd Ave. is offering shelter from the cold to anyone in need until noon Saturday, Jan. 6. Food will be offered, and the shelter will run continuously as cold temperatures are predicted for the rest of the week.

“We opened up because of this bitter cold, and just don’t want something tragic to happen because somebody didn’t have a place to go.”

Several days of below-zero temperatures has Central Iowans chilled, none more so than those without a consistent place to stay and rest; Trinity Lutheran Church Pastor Gregg Davison said offering shelter is especially important when the weather is this dangerous.

“We’re open 24 hours, we’re providing food,” he said. “People don’t have to leave, they can stay inside all the time as long as we’re open, till Saturday.”

The shelter, located at 1011 S. 3rd Ave., will be open continuously through noon on Jan. 6. Davison said anyone who needs a place to stay is welcome, and that shelter users can come in the church’s west entrance.

“We’ve been using some air beds,” he said. “If somebody doesn’t have a place to go, we’ll take them.”

Temperatures in the Marshalltown are predicted to stay below 10 degrees most of the week, with several daily lows in the negatives; wind chill is likely to make it feel even colder.

In order to maintain a safe environment, Davison said volunteers are being sought to monitor the shelter, welcome guests and provide food.

“The food is not so much an issue,” he said, emphasizing that volunteers do not need to bring food items. “Right now, we just need people there 24 hours to monitor.”

Davison said most volunteers so far have been from the Trinity parish, but there have been some from the general community. He said there are still volunteer time slots that need to be filled.

“Some folks from our community have been monitoring,” Davison said. “They just became aware of it, contacted us and stepped forward, which is fantastic; it’s a challenge for us to maintain it ourselves 24 hours [a day].”

He added progress on re-opening the House of Compassion shelter must continue in order to meet the needs of many in the community who have no place to stay.

To volunteer at the Trinity Lutheran shelter, he said to call the parish office at 641-753-7769 or email gdavison@tlc-elca.org. If no one answers the church office phone, Davison said to leave a voicemail message.

For more information, check out the Trinity Lutheran Church Facebook page.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com