BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A community warming station is available to the public at Beckley Community United Methodist Church on South Heber Street in Beckley.

The center will offer a cot and food between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. It will be open in the fellowship hall in the church’s lower level each night temperatures are below 15 degrees, organizers reported on Thursday, December 22, 2022.

This holiday season, many people will read the story of a young woman who gave birth far from In Beckley, volunteers at the Beckley Community United Methodist Church came to their church fellowship hall to prepare their warming center for those who need it.

The church’s pastor, Betsy Evans, was the first at the church on Thursday.

She said this is the second year the church has worked with United Way of Southern West Virginia to host the warming center.

“We not only provide shelter but also warm clothing, a warm meal, a safe place to lay their heads and just rest for the evening,” said Evans. “There is room at the inn, absolutely.”

Evans said last year, about 200 people came through for a warm bed during deadly temperatures. Some simply couldn’t afford to pay for heat at home.

“Others just do not have a permanent house, and that’s an issue in Beckley, finding permanent housing that is affordable, for a lot of people,” added Evans.

In 2021, there were not enough volunteers to meet the needs of all the people who were without heat.

This year, United Way of Southern West Virginia Executive Director Trena Dacal has again asked for community help.

“Obviously, you know, the heating bill increases for the church and the areas locations that provide warming centers, so community support is vital,” said Dacal. “Community support is needed to, literally, save lives in this type of weather.”

More information is available on the United Way of Southern West Virginia website at Donate (paypal.com)