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Heart for Homeless gives those in need a place to go during the day

By: Lauren Hensley

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Heart for Homeless has only been operating out of their State College office for a few weeks, but shelter officials said a big impact is already being made.

Founder Ginny Poorman said often times the homeless in State College go unnoticed.

"Our homeless community is different than that of a big city," Poorman said. "They are not all heroin addicts or alcoholics. They spent their day at the library or bus station trying to keep warm looking for jobs. They are not out on the streets like you would think. Homeless people to be they are trying to get out of their situations,"

The inspiration behind Heart for Homeless came after another nonprofit realized housing the homeless overnight wasn't enough. The State College Out of the Cold program is a collection of local churches, which allows the homeless to stay overnight but it ends early in the morning.

"We have to get them up at 6:15 [in the morning] and we have to have them out of the church buildings by 7 and it is hard especially on a day when the weather is really bad," Nancy Reinert, a volunteer with the Out of the Cold Program said.

This is where Heart for Homeless comes in. The shelter intends to close this gap so everyone has a warm place to go. Right now the shelter is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. But Poorman believes with more volunteers they could extend its hours of operations.

"We need people who can volunteer on a regular basis," Poorman said. "We have several volunteers who come in and they are already booked three weeks out that they are going to keep working. It's really important that we have a consistent base of volunteers for people, so they are not seeing new faces every day."

For more information on ways you can volunteer visit Heart for Homeless Facebook page.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times