RICHMONDVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As the winter dips into colder temperatures, those without a home are seeking a warm place to stay for the night. Warnerville United Methodist Church worked with Catholic Charities and the Department of Social Services to provide a warming station this winter, but the station has been shut down by the Town of Richmondville.

The program sponsored by Catholic Charities and the Department of Social Services reached out to churches in efforts to create a warming station in the winter. The Warnerville United Methodist Church created a space where people in need can spend the night following their goal to support the community. Fran Sossei, president of the board at Warnerville United Methodist Church, explained the station was able to hold ten people if needed with ten cots, bathrooms, a washer and dryer, warm drinks and water, microwaveable meals and trained supervisors keeping the environment safe and comfortable for all. Sossei explains the most people they had when the station was open was five.

Sossei also mentions this was not a shelter. People would come at around 5:30 p.m. each night from public transportation or their own transportation and leave in the morning around 8 a.m. The president describes how each person would have to go through a check-in process with supervisors checking their bags and storing any medications in a locked cabinet. The bags are then stored underneath the cots in a tote bag. Two supervisors trained by Catholic Charities were in the warming station at all times. There would be two supervisors from 5 p.m. to midnight and then two supervisors from midnight to 8 a.m. Sossei mentions the people that stayed in this warming station had jobs in Cobleskill but unfortunately not a warm place to stay at night.

The warming station was open for about three weeks before it was shut down. The Richmondville codes officer shut the warming station down on what Sossei describes as a “vague law for hamlets” the day after he visited the station himself.

Sossei invited the town supervisor, Jeff Haslun to the warming station to show this was a valid effort at helping the community. Sossei explains Haslun said he would have to take some time to reevaluate the situation. Sossei is passionate about the work she does at the church and felt the warming station was a symbol of goodness. Sossei states “you never know when you can change someone’s life,” the warming station was an opportunity to do so. The Town of Richmondville is holding a Board of Supervisors meeting on December 8 where people will be able to voice their opinion on the closing of the warming station. Christy Houck of Catholic Charities informs News10 that their attorney is trying to work with the Schoharie County attorney in efforts to get the situation resolved. Houck is hoping to have a resolution before the board meeting on December 8. The warming station currently remains closed.

NEWS10 has reached out to the codes officer and town supervisor but has not received a message back at the time this article was written. Stay with NEWS10 for more updates.