Haven of Rest Ministries is truly a "haven" to the homeless and others in need in the Akron area throughout the year, but the need for a warm bed becomes critical when the weather turns cold.
December weather in Northeast Ohio hardly lends itself to sleeping outdoors, but this particular December has been better than most with very little snowfall and only a hint of frigid temperatures.
"Usually by December in other years, we are really bulging at the seams because we expand from within, and we don't let anyone stay out there in the cold," said Haven of Rest Community Relations Coordinator Rose Rose.
Since the cold weather hasn't filled those beds as much as normal, does that mean the shelter's resources will stretch a little further this year?
Rose says they've accepted 78 new male clients in recent weeks.
"That's mostly through job losses and that sort of thing and they're losing their apartment or their home, so we've already noticed that there's quite an increase in new people coming in," said Rose.
Haven of Rest Ministries is located at 175 E. Market Street in Akron.
Haven of Rest Ministries is expecting about 800 people for Christmas dinner Sunday.
"It's a very joyful place," said Public Relations Coordinator Rose Rose. "There will be music, pretty decorations, a festive meal and the volunteers have a smile on their face."
Rose says people should show up by 11:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Haven Christmas - Rose Rose by Akron NewsNow
People who are there won't leave hungry. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn pudding, rolls, butter, cranberry sauce and pie are on the Sunday menu.
Rose says many of the people who attend are homeless, while others have a home, but can't afford to make a big holiday meal. Some people have no financial problems, but show up at the homeless shelter because they would otherwise be alone.
The shelter will hand out toiletries, hats and gloves to those in attendance.
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