Posted: Sep 10, 2013 4:07 PM by Judy Slate - KBZK News
Bozeman's Warming Center is scheduled to open later this fall. But without donations, local homeless people may be left out in the cold.
Bozeman resident Harry Pennington has been sleeping in his car for about three years.
"I sleep on the driver's side," Pennington said. "Some times the passenger's side."
Gesturing to the car, Pennington explained how it works:
"I slide the driver's seat all the way forward and lean back as much as it will go."
But when it's open, Harry chooses to sleep at The Warming Center in Bozeman.
"A warm place to sleep kind of a homey feeling, someplace to come, you got friends that you visit," he said.
This will be the fourth season for The Warming Center, which after moving to a new building last year has doubled the number of guests who stay in the facility.
"Over 130 different people," said Sara Savage with the HRDC. "Men, women and families came here to The Warming Center looking for a place to get out of the cold."
Paper hearts throughout the facility display the first name, age and length of stay of those who stay at The Warming Center.
"We had guests stay with us from 3 years old to 73 years old," said Savage.
According to officials, The Warming Center relies completely on community donations. In order to get people out of the cold into beds, HRDC needs to raise $50,000 by December 1.
"If we can get that amount raised then we'll start looking to open sooner," said Savage. "The more money, the sooner our doors will open."
And the soon the better for people like Pennington.
"It was kind of cold this morning," he said. "I almost turned on the heat."
There are two events planned to help The Warming Center. Tomorrow, at the Gallatin Valley Mall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. volunteers Will be collecting blankets for the facility. And this Saturday, there's an open house at The Warming Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They're also collecting blankets and other supplies and selling quilt squares for a community quilt.
Click here for more information about the facility.