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posted: 1/27/2014 6:20 PM

Lazarus House has room for people to get warm

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  • Lazarus House volunteer Nona Koivula of St. Charles cuts watermelon Monday in preparation for lunch. "I'm trying to make it seem a little more like summer," she said. She's been volunteering three days a week at the shelter for almost two years. "I'm too old for the Army, so this is how I serve my community and my country."

       Lazarus House volunteer Nona Koivula of St. Charles cuts watermelon Monday in preparation for lunch. "I'm trying to make it seem a little more like summer," she said. She's been volunteering three days a week at the shelter for almost two years. "I'm too old for the Army, so this is how I serve my community and my country."
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Lazarus House Director Liz Eakins said Monday the cold doesn't always lead to an increase in the number of people seeking help from the St. Charles facility. Even though Lazarus is also a warming center, Eakins said no one has come by to escape the frigid temperatures.

       Lazarus House Director Liz Eakins said Monday the cold doesn't always lead to an increase in the number of people seeking help from the St. Charles facility. Even though Lazarus is also a warming center, Eakins said no one has come by to escape the frigid temperatures.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

The city of St. Charles has dedicated several spots around town where people can get out of the cold, including Lazarus House.

Director Liz Eakins says staff members are ready to do what they can.

"We are a warming center, so if someone is found in distress because of the weather all we ask is that they have a photo ID when they come to the door, and we'll get them in out of the elements and see what we can do to get them to a better place," she said Monday.

During the recent cold no one has come by to take them up on the offer. "That's a good thing. I guess that means people are being cared for," she said. "It would take a pretty coldhearted person to boot somebody out the door when it's going to be 12 below tonight.

"It's kind of the reverse of what logic would tell us in that our numbers do not spike because of the cold, because other friends and family are more compassionate and make sure they're not going to put people in harm's way when a situation goes south."

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