HARRISBURG, Pa. — Amid the artic freeze sweeping through the area and across the region, volunteers at Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg are working to provide food and shelter to those struggling with homelessness.
“A lot of the guys, they don’t have families, so we try and be like family for them," said Alfonso Ciervo, the food service director for Bethesda Mission.
Ciervo said the shelter at Bethesda Mission is at full capacity, housing 95 people this weekend. However, he said the shelter is willing to take in more people.
“We’ll still take people in," said Ciervo. "They’ll be sleeping on the mattress and the floor because it’s too cold to be outside.”
With temperatures hovering in the teens through Christmas, Ciervo says there’s a slight concern of overcrowding.
“There’s a lot of people who have no place to stay. So, we’re doing the best that we can to help them," said Ciervo. "You know, it’s difficult because we don’t have that much space to bring all the people in.”
Volunteers continue working to provide comfort to those who come in Bethesda Mission, including a free Christmas Eve meal.
“It’s very heartwarming to welcome someone in from the cold, give them a nutritious meal, and help them have a little more Christmas cheer," said Bill Kohl, a volunteer.
“We try to do the best for the guys. I’m grateful for helping the guys and taking care of people from outside, the people who don’t have," said Ciervo.
Bethesda Mission welcomes all with a warm embrace, even on the coldest of winter nights.