Thursday’s snowfall took many by surprise and for the first time this season, the Frederick Rescue Mission has opened as a cold weather shelter.
“The weather came kind of out of nowhere. I don’t think anyone was expecting it with such a long summer,” explained public relations director for the Frederick Rescue Mission, Leesa Ruderman.
Whenever temperatures dip below freezing, the building is open through the daily breakfast and lunch shifts.
“On any given day we would normally have about 300 people come in for breakfast and lunch. On a day like today’s, we’ll probably have a lot more. It’s cold out, people want warm food in their belly, and that’s we’re blessed to give,” Ruderman said.
For many, it has become a place not only to grab a hot meal, but also to escape the elements throughout the day.
“When you walk through that door after being outside in this stuff for a few hours, or a few days, yeah, you get a really good feeling when you come in here. It’s like ‘oh man, I’m warm, I’m getting dry, and I’m getting ready to have a good meal,” explained visitor to the Frederick Rescue Mission, Marshall Bohlman.
Officials say several of the volunteers who help serve lunch were unable to make it in, but members of the Changed Life Recovery Program stepped in.
“To give back to the community, that’s all I ever wanted to do because I haven’t really given anything to anybody. So this opens my heart as well as my mind to other people. And when I [give a plate of food] to them and they’re happy, I’m happy,” explained member of the Changed Life Recovery Program at the Frederick Rescue Mission, Mandell Peterson.
In addition to hot meals, the rescue mission also put out several warm clothing items like hats, gloves, and socks.
To find out if the Frederick Rescue Mission cold weather shelter is open, look for a raised white flag just outside the West South Street building.