PADUCAH – When the temperature drops to 40°F or below, Paducah’s Washington St. Baptist Church opens its doors to the community: it provides a warm place to shower, wash clothes, eat and sleep safely.
During the month of November, the McCracken County Public Library will serve as a drop-off point for donations for warming center supplies. Washington Baptist Church is asking for travel-sized toiletries for guests using its facilities, according to a statement Tuesday. Specifically, they request the following elements:
- Hand sanitizer
- Dental floss
- New socks
To donate, simply drop off your items at the desk on the first floor inside the library during normal business hours.
The church says they will accept anyone who needs a place to stay for the night, including unaccompanied youth, married couples, single couples and single adults with or without children. Beds are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with a maximum capacity of 20 people.
According to a statement on Tuesday, visitors must follow certain rules to stay in the warming center.
- Visitors must not carry weapons or be intoxicated
- Pets are not allowed
- Identification is requested, but not required. The identity document can include a photo ID, a bill or an official document. If ID is not provided, a photo will be taken of the guest for WSBC records.
- Visitors with outstanding warrants will be referred to law enforcement
- Visitors to the sex offender registry may only be accommodated if there are no minors in the heating center that night
- Visitors must take a rapid test for COVID-19. Those who test positive will not be able to stay, as there is no isolation capacity in the center.
- Volunteers will assist visitors with online registration and warming shelter arrangements
- Doors close at 10pm and guests can leave the center between 6.30am and 8am.
Each guest staying at the center will be provided with fresh linens for their beds. We have a shower and laundry. The church also plans to offer dinner and breakfast to all guests, if possible, depending on donations and the availability of volunteers. The McCracken County Library is also serving as a warming center during normal business hours.
In addition to travel-sized toiletries, the church needs sponsorships for food and maintenance, as well as volunteers who can work at the center in the evenings. If you would like to help, please call Colbey Moore at (270) 442-8033.