STROUDSBURG, Pa. — By day, the Pocono family YMCA on Main Street in Stroudsburg is where people come to get their sweat on. But by night, it’s a place where people without a home can come to keep warm.
“We allow the homeless to come in at 9 p.m. after we close to spend the night. They are able to take showers during our shower hours,” Sierra McCown explained.
The YMCA started taking in people on November 1. McCown, the marketing coordinator, says a lot of people have been taking the organization up on the overnight offer.
“When they come from outside, inside to somewhere that is nice and warm. They come, talk, and communicate with other people and find other resources. It’s really important,” McCown said.
When those temperatures drop, there is not only a place for the homeless to stay overnight, but there’s also a place for seniors to keep warm during the day.
The Loder Senior Center in East Stroudsburg has hot coffee, heat, and Angelina Matese.
“They have the heat and if I want it hotter, I say, ‘Bring up the thermostat,’ and they do. If I want it colder, I say, ‘bring it down.’ I get what I want here. If I don’t, I have a very loud mouth,” Matese joked.
Mara Cruz is the manager of the senior center. She says it’s great for seniors to have a place to go during the winter when they want to get out of the house.
“It’s getting cold and temperatures are dropping. Here at the Loder, we are always warm. We have hot meals, we provide activities, exercise programs. We encourage the residents to come and participate in those activities,” Cruz said.
To find a warming station near you in the Poconos, you’re encouraged to call your borough or township for information.