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Huntington Town offering warm refuge, food

Huntington residents seeking refuge from their powerless and cold homes now have a warmer alternative.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone on Friday announced a partnership with area religious and social service organizations to offer facilities where residents can go for heat as temperatures drop.

Starting Friday night, residents will have access to food, heat and areas where electronics can be charged at six area warming centers. On the list:

Central Presbyterian Church, 240 Main St., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily;

Temple Beth El, 660 Park Ave., from 2 to 9 p.m. on Sunday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday;

St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church, at New York Ave. and East 9th Street, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday;

Light of Salvation Church, 1599 New York Ave., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday;

Dix Hills Ice Rink, 575 Vanderbilt Pkwy., 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday;

Huntington YMCA, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with showers available. At the ice rink there will be free ice skating and showers are available.

"It's going to get cold this weekend," Petrone said. "So we need a place to bring people to get warm."

Petrone said the idea is not to offer a place to stay but a chance to get out, have refreshments and receive the goodwill of neighbors during a difficult time. He said the facilities all agreed to open their doors to benefit their neighbors in need.

Peggy Boyd, Family Service League vice president of community services and advocacy, is project coordinator for the warming centers. She said a large group met Thursday to start planning the centers, then again Friday and had the sites operational that day.

"They have the structure and relationships in Huntington," Boyd said. She added they used the town's Interfaith Homeless Initiative's winter respite program as a model -- one of the reasons they were able to put together the warming centers so quickly."

Petrone also encouraged residents to seek shelter at the American Red Cross Overnight Shelter at Walt Whitman High School, West Hills Road. There will be transportation available from warming sites.

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