ROCHESTER, Minn.- The warming center in Rochester just opened up last week and they're already drawing in large crowds.
They're making sure they're full of volunteers to assist with their guests. Tom Parlin, the Program Director at Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota said opening this center just follows along with their mission, which is to serve the community. "Pretty much all of our programs solve some kind of issue among our community for those who are lacking resources," explained Parlin.
Over the weekend, there was an incident at the warming center that ended up with two men getting banned for the rest of the season, so they're making sure it doesn't happen again. Before the center opened, they let the community know about the zero tolerance policy on fighting or any type of altercation while staying at the warming center. But with that many people at once, there is a possibilty something could happen. Parlin said safety is their number one priority. "Most guests don't want to ruin their opportunity for the shelter, so most of them are not going to be like that. But occasionally, you're going to have somebody who's just out of control," Parlin explained.
Parlin said the volunteers handled the situation perfectly because they've made sure to be prepared in case something does happen. The warming center is open every night starting at 9 through the next morning until 7 and that does include holidays.