The Harbor helps people get ready for cold weather

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - It is going to be a cold few nights in the Wiregrass for many, staying warm may be a bit harder than it sounds.

The Harbor is a church in Dothan that's mission is to provide refuge from life's storms.

At times that means a ‘warming station’ for those who need it.

As the sun sets over Dothan, people will start doing their best to stay out of the cold.

For those without a warm home, the night can seem endless.

"It's no insolation what-so-ever,” said Dianne Long, who lives in Dothan. “It's wood floors. You can see through the cracks in the floor. The ceiling has collapsed in the living room because of all the rain, so we're open to the attic and everything, so all the air is coming through."

Dianne Long was worried about how cold it's going to get, so she went to the harbor to see if they could help her get ready.

"I come here to the harbor sometimes to get a blanket or coat, and they're helping me out with a propane tank, because I do have a propane heater, but it only lasts about three hours,” said Long.

Executive Director Kody Kirchoff says it may not get quite cold enough to open a warming station.

"Cold is cold, but 28 degrees is the forecasted low that a group of us have got together and determined that's when we're going to be able to open up warming stations,” said Kirchhoff.

Kirchhoff says it requires a lot of labor and resources to pull off a warming station, so they can't handle more than 15 or so in the winter.

They are helping the best they can by offering free jackets, blankets, sleeping bags and even tents to anyone who comes by.

"If they are living a little transient, get them more secure at a tented area,” said Kirchhoff. “Check in on some elderly people, but just making sure in these temperatures that they are taken care of."

With the Harbor's help, Dianne isn't too worried about making it through the winter.

"I think I'll make it tonight, and I have a puppy so I think he'll sleep in the bed with me," said Long.

If the temperature does get down to 28 degrees, the Harbor needs volunteers for the overnight shifts.

They encourage anyone interested to contact them when they see the forecast.