ROCHESTER, Minn. - A Rochester warming center is providing more people a safe place to stay as it expands its operations heading into the winter months.
In addition to separate sleeping areas for men and women the Rochester Community Warming Center now has a consult room, expanded laundry and restroom facilities as well as a separate room for anyone needing to isolate.
The expanded center can accommodate 64 people however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, RCWC can only safely host 30 people for now.
There are safety precautions in place including temperature checks and wellness screening questions, facial coverings are required in common areas with physical distancing also in place.
Shelter manager Cathy Hunkaker says it's exciting to be able to welcome more people to the facility.
She said, "We have a lot of familiar faces but we also have a lot of new faces. So, just to be able to say, 'Yes we have a place for you. Yes there's a warm place for you to come in and be comfortable and take a shower and do your laundry' and just not have to turn people away I think that's the biggest thing."
The shelter also says the intake process is done one person at a time to limit the number of people in the lobby.
In a press released RCWC also said:
"The RCWC is currently seeking donations of hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving supplies), cleaning supplies (disinfectant spray, wipes, bleach, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets), and pre-packaged snack items in individual serving sizes. If you would like to donate, please contact Cathy Hunsaker to learn more about how and when donations are accepted."
You can contact Hunsaker at 507-287-2047, ext. 33 or CHunsaker@CCsomn.org