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Friendship Room ready to help

Contributed READY — The Friendship Room’s Molly McGovern, right, said they’ve stocked a warming station with hot chocolate, oatmeal, soups and blankets to help those in need survive the frigid temperatures. Effective immediately, she said the building will be staffed by volunteers and open around the clock.

STEUBENVILLE — Due to the severe weather, the Friendship Room will be operating around the clock so people in need can warm themselves.

“We’re keeping an eye on the weather,” the Friendship Room’s Molly McGovern said. “We want people to know there’s a place they can come. We’ll have volunteers here throughout the evening and the night.”

McGovern said they’ve set up an emergency warming area, complete with hot chocolate, oatmeal, soups and blankets, to get people who are homeless or living in inadequate housing out of the elements.

“We want people to know we’re here,” she said. “We are asking people to wear masks; we’re following as many COVID (prevention) measures as we can. We’re all vaccinated and we follow the safety precautions to the best of our ability, but the severe weather trumps what we can do.”

McGovern said it’s exactly the kind of weather that prompted them to start the warming stations eight years ago.

“We want to be the field hospital, the front line, and get people (to safety),” she said. “We have groups of people living on the river, in abandoned buildings and in inadequate housing.”

McGovern said the Friendship Room is “always taking donations of blankets and adult coats,” pointing out those in need use blankets to cover their windows to keep the cold out.

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