Staying Warm Without a Home

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

On frigid nights many like to curl up by the fire or just crawl into a warm bed, but not everyone has that luxury.

House to Home is a daytime shelter in Parkersburg that provides the homeless with food, clothing and blankets, while also giving them a place to do laundry and take showers.

However, at night it's a different story, and some even live in tents under a bridge.

Those in this situation say they do what they can to stay warm, and they're grateful for the help they receive.

"We're just out here because we have to be, but the biggest thing is we're here. We're making the best of it, and there's a lot of good people around that are bringing us firewood, bringing us food, bringing us water," Mike Vanfosson, a homeless man, said.

One option for the homeless is the Salvation Army in Parkersburg, which provides people with shelter for up to eight weeks, but officials say on cold nights like Thursday night, they won't turn anyone away.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by pita Location: davisville, wv on Dec 13, 2009 at 04:40 PM
    I think it is awful we don't do more for our homeless. I also don't understand why the Uptowner Inn can't be fixed up. It needs to be brought up to code not, not some fnacy place just a place to live. We can spend millions of dollars on a park that I don't feel we need.Build it in a flood zone, but we can't make a place for our homeless to stay warm. Something is wrong with this picture.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 13, 2009 at 12:24 PM
    i would just like to say that the salvation army may say they turn no one away but i kno that to be untrue......
  • by angel Location: parkersburg on Dec 13, 2009 at 11:36 AM
    I am blessed everyday, I have a roof and never take things for granted, I have a spare bedroom and am putting it out there. I understand there are two families down there under the bridge that has children, one familie has got relief from a local church, There is one young lady named Marleen with a child, I am looking for her any information in helpin this please e-mail me,, I am not offering a hand out but a hand up. I dont have much but what I do have happens to be what this young lady needs. Please help me help her. As to the adults most already know me and know my house is open for a hot shower and a good hot home cooked meal. Again anyone who has information on marleen please call me if you do not have computer access 304-834-1118. I am trusting the people of this community not to prank call but to help me with this. Tis the season and one person can make a difference. THANK YOU!
  • by D Location: Belpre on Dec 12, 2009 at 09:24 AM
    I gave a quilt to one of the homeless who is sleeping in the lobby of a business building. The next day, he no longer had it. Some of these ppl will sell or trade anything they get. Old Man Rivers on Pike Street tries to help. They feed these people on weekends and supply them with ugly quilts to keep warm. Several local churches and others assist in that effort and never ask for money. It's entirely volunteer.
  • by Concerned Location: Parkersburg on Dec 12, 2009 at 08:15 AM
    There so many empty buidings why can't the City or State provide these for the Homeless...Look at the Uptowner InnSitting Idle for years..Why do we have to "BEAUTIFY" instead of taking care of our own....
  • by Captain Greg Location: Washington, D.C. on Dec 12, 2009 at 03:56 AM
    I was homeless in Parkersburg from November 2006 to January 2007. I had got out of the Navy, then flunked out of medical school at Marshall after I tried to help victims of hurricane Katrina in 2005. I came home to Parkersburg, but my alcoholic step-father threw me out. I tried, for 18 months to find a job, but there are no jobs anywhere for college graduates who are military veterans; particularly not at McDonald's or any of the other fast food joints. I filled out over 1,100 applications, but never got one interview. I donated plasma to eat, do laundry, and keep a membership at the YMCA where I could stay warm and shower. I carried my stuff around in a ruck and slept in a tent. I often went to the library to read and look for jobs on the internet. Eventually, I came back in the military in 2008. I just got back from my third tour and now I live and work at the Pentagon. I will never forget those horrible months, living on the streets of Parkersburg.
  • by jane Location: st marys on Dec 11, 2009 at 03:20 PM
    I really do think it's pathetic that we're tryin to save the rest of the world and not opening our eyes to whats right in our back yard. It's people like vetojack that has brought us to where we are today. At some point and time everyone needs a helping hand and there's NOTHING wrong with that. However, I agree with Joe as well, people have to want to help themselves. I dont know there situation nor do I care how then got there. All I know is I will be one of the many people doing what I can to help someone in need this holiday season and any other time that I can. My heart is not bleeding nearly as much for the homeless as it is for vetojack. Is this really a time to be so petty? God will bless those of us that DO have the bleeding hearts!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Williamstown on Dec 11, 2009 at 03:04 PM
    Just remember that we are all one unfortunate incident away from being homeless. . . Whether that be a house fire, a loss of a job, a loss of a spouse, etc.. We should all thank God for our blessings each and every day!
  • by vetojack Location: ohio on Dec 11, 2009 at 01:00 PM
    Hey folks. All you bleeding hearts can fix the homeless problem.... Each of you take a homeless person home with you. Problem solved!
  • by joe Location: p-burg on Dec 11, 2009 at 10:50 AM
    I hate to sound bitter but the elderly who cannot get around very well I understand and feel bad for them. The younger folks don't have to live like that and could turn things around. I know it wont make you rich quick but there are always minimum wage jobs available. I myself have been working hard with obstacles in my way that stop me or slow me down but I always keep going and it will eventually reward me. If those folks that stand around town in the ice cold air holding a sign would rather do that then stand in a nice warm McDonald's then so be it. I have worked hard for what little money I have and I am not able to donate often. And before any haters comment...I do not have very much money nor does my family but I try and work hard and thats just what you have to do.
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