A homeless man sitting outside a coffee shop accepts cash from a customer on a bitter cold morning, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

LEWISTON, Maine – A church in Lewiston has opened a new warming center on the corner of Sabattus and Bartlett streets.

Calvary United Methodist Church put in charging stations and got its new warming center ready to open earlier than expected in anticipation of snow Thursday.

Normal hours will be from 12 a.m. until 8 a.m. this winter, and church members will also feed people breakfast before they leave. During Friday’s snowstorm, the new warming center will be open until 4 p.m.

“Even on the days that we’ve been open during the day, we’ve had people come in at 8 a.m. We’ve had people with frostbite come in, who have slept out overnight. So that’s just not right,” Bill Reed of the Calvary United Methodist Church said. “And those people deserve to be warm just like the rest of us.”

The Androscoggin County Commission voted to fund the church’s new warming center Wednesday.

Commissioners provided nearly $300,000 to keep the center open this winter for those in need.