NEWARK, Ohio (WCMH) — It’s a cold weekend in central Ohio and Sunday’s temperatures are expected to remain below freezing. To help those in need, the Licking County Emergency Warming Center Task Force is opening its warming center for anyone who needs a place to get out of the cold. 

Deb Dingus. pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Newark, said on Friday night the church provided space for more than 20 people, highlighting the desperate need for warming centers and additional resources in Licking County for those who are unsheltered. 

“The folks we’re seeing at the shelter are truly unsheltered, meaning they’re not living in a homeless shelter or anywhere to live,” said Dingus. 

On top of trying to help those in need, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for the task force to get volunteers. 

“People are very COVID conscious and they’re just afraid of being around people in general,” said Linda Mossholder with the Licking County Emergency Task Force. “Sometimes people have a misconception that maybe unsheltered people have a greater chance of spreading COVID than other people–it’s difficult to get volunteers because of COVID.”

Dingus said if people are not comfortable volunteering in person, they can donate jackets, gloves, blankets, and boots. For businesses sitting empty on weekends, the task force asks them to consider opening their doors to help out people in need.

Date: Sunday- January 23rd

SITE: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church- 592 W Main Street Newark

  • Hours: 5 p.m. 1/23 till 9 a.m. 1/24
  • AM Transport to Vertical 196 at 8 a.m.
  • Food provided by LMH Culinary Services
  • Transportation will be done in the loop (locations below) (No pickup at 4 p.m. at vertical) from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. by Vertical 196.
  • After-hours pickups will not be available

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Warming Center, please reach out HERE