It’s a weekday morning in the basement of Old South Church in Copley Square. About 50 people are sitting on couches and chairs, chatting and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A 53-year-old man named John is reading a novel.
“I’ve been coming here for about 2 weeks, since it opened. It’s terrific. Because of the heat and the food and the cots.”
A woman named Denise eyes six cots covered with wool blankets. They’re behind a curtain in the back of the room.
“They’re wonderful. I came in yesterday and I was tired, but I ended up sleeping for like 4 hours in the back. It was really nice. I haven’t been able to do that since I’ve been in this position.”
Denise says she’s been homeless since Christmas, and that it’s hard to sleep in an overnight shelter. But the atmosphere here is pleasant, quiet even. This is one of two warming shelters in the city – the other’s at Emmanuel Church. They’re open to anyone who needs to come in from the cold, but they’re closed at night.
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