Warming centers protecting people from bitter temperatures

Many people are flocking to warming centers in Genesee County. Some are open 24 hours, helping keep people escape the dangerously cold temperatures.

â??I'd probably be in some tent right now,â?? says Russell Krishner.

Instead he's getting a break from the bitter cold thanks to warming centers like this one.

"I ain't got no where else to go except for here,â?? says Krishner.

Russell's a familiar face at Holy Angels Warming Center.

"We're like a famIly down here," says Krishner.

Building relationships for the last six years. It's more than just a warm place but necessary for his survival.

â??It's a possibility that you could die out there,â?? says Krishner. â??Because if you don't know how to prepare yourself with what to wear for the weather, you'll freeze your butt off out there,â?? he adds.

To help people like Russell, the center is open around the clock from December through March.

â??Catholic Charities says we will do our part. We will make sure the heat is on, we don't want to have some kind of tragedy like that in Genesee County,â?? says Vicky Schulz, C.E.O. of Catholic Charities of Genesee County.

Here, people can get a hot meal or even watch some television to get their mind off of the cold. Upstairs at the community closet, people can get hats, gloves and blankets.

â??It's cold, so you need to dress right. We give out clothing here, shoes, everything you need to prepare you for the winter,â?? says Aresina Foster, a volunteer at the community closet.

Organizers say they're seeing hundreds of people come in and out and theyâ??re accepting all the help they can get.

Anything you got old, you want to get out of your house, clothes, whatever you can bring down here,â?? says Foster.

â??The warming center needs your help, says Aaron Carter, who uses the warming center. â??Carriage Town needs your help, My Brother's keeper needs your help. Even the hospitals need your help,â?? he adds.

If you would like to donate to Catholic Charities of Genesee County, please call 810-785-6911.