Big chill stretches La Crosse warming center above capacity

Bishop William Callahan blesses Catholic Charities' new La Crosse Warming Center last fall
The La Crosse Warming Center was pressed beyond capacity Sunday as single-digit temperatures during the day plunged to double digits below zero overnight, drawing 47 guests to the downtown shelter.

“We’ve set up chairs,” said Mary Fitzpatrick, executive director of the center, which has 35 recliners where people can sleep. “They don’t always get a recliner, but we do get them out of the cold.”

There seems to be less pressure at The Salvation Army, perhaps because the Warming Center’s new site at at 413 S. Third St. is nearly double the capacity of its previous facility.

The corps’ shelter at 223 N. Eighth St.,, with a capacity of 80, has been sheltering an average of 52 a night, said Julie Nelson, the agency’s public relations coordinator. The facility’s gym has remained open during the day so guests aren’t forced into the cold during the day and to accommodate community residents seeking a warm-up.
continue at La Crosse Tribune 

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