Warming shelters, senior centers keep busy across Mid-Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Warming shelters, senior centers keep busy across Mid-Michigan

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(01/22/13) - Warming shelters and senior centers across Mid-Michigan were at their busiest Tuesday, as people got out of the cold and into some place warm.

Carman Ainsworth Senior Center in Flint Township was only one of two in Genesee County open Tuesday - the rest closed because of the frigid temperatures. Seniors enjoyed a hot meal of chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese. A couple dozen seniors stayed to play Bingo and enjoy being among others on the crisp winter day.

"It's always warm in here, I keep moving around, playing cards or bingo," said Violet Barnhart.

The freezing temps don't seem to bother Joellene Dean one bit.

"I was a school bus driver for years, many mornings it was zero and below. I don't think it's that cold," she said.

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities in Flint has three soup kitchens and a warming center in Genesee County. They say they've been at capacity every day.

The North End Soup Kitchen served dinner until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"The North End soup kitchen is the only one open for a hot meal at dinner time, but because the warming center is open from December through the end of March, we do serve sack lunches, snacks and coffee all day, including night time," said John Manse, of Catholic Charities.

The Holy Angels warming center off of Saginaw was also very busy with clients. They're open 24 hours, but doors close at 8 p.m. Guests can get a hot lunch every day, a cup of coffee, read, play games and watch television.

"Every Tuesday from 12 to 1, we give out food, and we average 100-150 clients, but today even with being as cold as it was, we did over 200 clients. It's saying there's such a need. In the first 10 minutes, the blankets we had were all gone," said Charlean Price, of Mid-Michigan Community Outreach.

Mid-Michigan community outreach handed out food bags to those in need at the Center. They're in desperate need of pillows and blankets.

"We have so many people that come down here that are sleeping on the floor with nothing to cover up with," Price said.

If you'd like to donate blankets or pillow, drop them off at the Catholic Charities office on Chippewa.

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