Starting next month, the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter will open its lobby as a warming center.

The shelter is an amazing asset to the Greater Bangor area, providing beds for 43 people, plus five more on life-safety mats they only use when the place is full. This time of year, those beds offer life-saving shelter from brutal overnight temperatures. But the reality is, not everyone who's homeless is in a shelter. Some have been told, for one reason or another, that they can't stay in a shelter, while others have chosen to stay outside.

The folks at the BAHS put their heads together to figure out how best to help the people who don't spend the night in one of their beds. Deciding to stay outside is one thing, but those people still need to find some respite from the cold, wind, and precipitation. So the decision was made to open up the lobby of the shelter as a warming center.

While the folks who stop by won't have beds to sleep in, they will have a place to sit and warm up. Get out of the wind. And even sip some hot coffee to warm the inside, as well as the outside. The warming center will open on December 16th, and stay open through the month of February. It will be located in the day area of the shelter and will operate from eight o'clock at night to six-thirty in the morning. Snacks will be provided, as well as the coffee.

Today is Giving Tuesday, so the staff is hoping that some generous people will donate, to help keep the shelter open, as well as the food pantry that operates twice a week. Find more information on the website for the Greater Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.