Huntington City Mission taking all comers due to cold temps - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Huntington City Mission taking all comers due to cold temps

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We visited with mother of five, Linda Pennington, who has gotten relief from a desperate situation at the Huntington City Mission.

"I was afraid I was gonna lose my kids," says Ms. Pennington, who recently found a warm welcome and warm beds at the City Mission. "They're really friendly here, and the kids do a lot of stuff."

Anyone can seek shelter at the City Mission when the temperature is below 40 degrees, with very few questions asked.

The public is notified when a white flag waves outside the dining hall.

That's an indication to our community members that they can come in and get warm," says City Mission Public Information Officer, Theresa Cashion. "We don't turn anybody away."

That kind of compassion, says Ms. Pennington, can help in more ways than you might think.

Ms. Pennington was once at a loss, ready to give up.

"I went through a depression," says Pennington. "I didn't know what to do, where to go. I was in tears."

She did, eventually, find people who care.

On an average night, the City Mission sleeps about 140 men, women and children.

On a frigid night, that number swells.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they're sheltering about 170.

Ms. Cashion says volunteers and employees here will improvise if they need to.

"If we run out of beds, we'll bring them into the lobby. We'll keep them warm. We're not going to send them out in the cold."