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Rochester warming center open for all of March, in need of donations

Olmsted County is teaming up with the Salvation Army for a study to see if extending hours for winter shelter will solve the issue of homelessness

Posted: Mar. 12, 2019 7:13 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The Salvation Army's warming center is open all month, and with all that time open comes a dire need for more donations.

Last week, Olmsted County teamed up with the Salvation Army for a human study to see if extending hours for winter shelter will solve the issue of homelessness in Rochester.

Keith is homeless and new to the area. He says he is thankful for the center and the folks that work hard to keep it open.

"Being in this cold is not good especially when you don't have anyone in your corner. The volunteers here are very great," said Keith.

He goes on to say that it can be hard for people to truly understand the struggles of the homeless population.

"It's easy to number homeless people and think of it as one lump issue but all of these people are coming to us with a lot of different stories and background and reason and one thing we need to remember is that they are people," said Rebecca Snapp with the Salvation Army.

The warming shelter has now been open for 24 days straight. Snapp says it is twice as much as they are used to.

"We never want to turn anybody away," said Snapp.

She further explained with extended hours it means more people that they're serving.

As the center prepares for Tuesday night meals Snapp is frantically thinking about how they can stretch their donations.

"We realized the longer that we have stayed opened the more people that will come here," said Snapp.

This is why they need your help.

“We are in need of granola bars thing that these guys can take with them with they are traveling."

With your help, Snapp says they are hoping to get people back on their feet.

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