December 13, 2016
Augusta Community Warming Center to open for eighth season on Dec. 15
United Way of Kennebec Valley will open the Augusta Community Warming Center on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 9 Pleasant Street. The program, now in its eighth year of operation, will be open daily for people seeking a warm and safe escape from the cold weather from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In the 2015-16 season, 3,155 visitors signed into the warming center, including individuals in crisis and families with young children. Deidrah Stanchfield, director of the center, said the need for the program is growing.
“Many of us are able to bundle up to clear snow off our vehicles, travel to the grocery store, visit with friends and go to work,” she said. “But some folks would spend their entire day without a place to keep warm if they didn’t have the warming center.”
The warming center, located in the lower level of St. Mark’s Parish Hall, has a social area and a family-friendly play area for youth. In addition to providing refuge from the elements, staff and volunteers strive to establish a sense of community in the center and connect visitors with local resources that may improve their lives.
“At a time when the need is becoming greater than ever, the warming center brings together resources, supplies and mentors to help people help themselves and reconnect with society,” Stanchfield said. “By meeting basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, individuals can then search for employment and other opportunities."
This is the center’s second year being held in St. Mark’s Parish Hall. The location puts the warming center in the heart of a variety of social service programs operating in the same building, including the Augusta Food Pantry, the Every Day Basics essential needs program and Addie’s Attic clothing closet.
The warming center will be open to the public daily through March 31.
Fundraising efforts and support from 24 organizations and individuals in the community make the center’s operation possible. For more information about the Augusta Community Warming Center, or to supports its mission, call 207-458-8880 or visit facebook.com/AugustaCommunityWarmingCenter. To learn more about United Way, visit uwkv.org.
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