Westmoreland County emergency cold weather shelters open for third season

Cold weather shelters in Greensburg and Latrobe re-opened this week for their third season serving residents of Westmoreland County.

The shelters provide emergency lodging to those who are homeless or unable to adequately heat their homes on cold winter nights.

The shelters will operate out of the Welcome Home Shelter in Greensburg and the Union Mission in Latrobe. They will open from 8 pm – 8 am on nights when the temperature is 25 degrees or colder. The shelters will remain in service through March 31, 2018.

Last year, during their first full year of operation, the shelters provided 600 nights of lodging to individuals and families. The season prior, which began January 2016, they provided 89 nights of shelter.

The shelters also provide guests with free food and service referrals, depending on their circumstances.

The shelters are coordinated in partnership with United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and are funded by the organization’s emergency needs budget and private donations.

“The shelters fill a real void in our community’s basic needs network,” said United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania regional vice president Bobbi Watt Geer. “They provide shelter, warmth and support to people struggling to keep their homes heated or to those struggling with shelter during the harshest months of the year.

To check if the shelters will open on a given evening, individuals can call 2-1-1, the Westmoreland County Crisis Line at 800-836-6010, the Welcome Home Shelter at 724-838-9133 or the Union Mission at 724-539-3550.

To support the shelters, community members can donate at www.unitedway4u.org.