Jan. 7—ANDERSON — With overnight temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero, several people took advantage of warming centers at The Christian Center and Willow Place on Thursday and Friday.
The overnight temperature in Anderson was 7 degrees and by 9 a.m. had dropped to 5 degrees with a wind chill of -7 degrees.
It was the first of several cold weather systems moving into Central Indiana with the overnight temperature on Sunday expected to be 16 degrees with a wind chill of 1.
The Monday overnight temperature is expected to be 8 degrees with a projected wind chill of -9 degrees.
Richard Harvey, outreach coordinator at the Christian Center, said they were expecting 15 people to spend the night in the chapel but only four people spent the night and one at Willow Place.
"It's brutal," Harvey said of the cold weather. "We had 25 or 30 people show up for dinner and 12 to 15 people signed up to stay all night."
Harvey said with the expected cold temperatures next week, the Christian Center is planning to provide shelter.
"When it gets down to 20 degrees we are opening the chapel," he said. "After 6 p.m. people are welcome to stay overnight."
Harvey said the Christian Center is handing out blankets to anyone who needs one.
Brad Schne spent the night at the Christian Center and would have spent the night outside.
"It was cold," he said.
Schne said they went to the Christian Center for lunch and came back for dinner and still hadn't decided.
"Thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to spend the night," he said.
Schne said they were staying down by the river but got burned out by a fire.
Hubert Campbell also spent the night at the Christian Center and has been staying in a house with no utilities that is falling apart.
"It's nice that it was open," Campbell said. "I didn't want to go back there. At least I had a chance to get out of the cold."
Campbell said he's hopeful to have a place to stay in the near future.
Ryan Troub, the peer recovery coordinator for the Madison County Health Department, was distributing blankets and jackets to the Christian Center.
"It's very important the shelters were open," he said.
"It's good because it gives us the opportunity to talk with them and offer them help and services," Traub said. "We plan on going to the tent city to see if people need any help."
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.