SPOKANE, Wash. — A West Central Spokane Church is opening its doors for the first time Friday night as a warming shelter.
Salem Lutheran Church is one of the newest warming shelters to contract with the city of Spokane.
"We're excited about finally opening," Pastor Liv Larson Andrews said. "It's come together through the efforts of a lot of people."
Doors to one of the newest warming shelters in Spokane open at 9 p.m.
The church will be able to house about 60 men and women looking to get out of the cold.
"A lot of us didn't think it would get so cold so quickly," Larson Andrews said. "So I think a lot of us were surprised."
The church's gym floor will be covered with mats, and people will be provided snacks and water.
In preparation for opening as a warming shelter, Salem Lutheran re-installed gates earlier this week. Larson Andrews said they've been decorated to make it more cheery.
She said the gates will help secure the rest of the building, which is used for other purposes while the shelter is open.
"Our building is kind of large and quirky and serves many purposes," Larson Andrews said. "There are other offices for non-profits that rent office space from us, in addition to our offices. There's classrooms and other spaces that are tricky to secure from the hallway."
People will still have access to restrooms and showers.
Larson Andrews said they are taking names of anyone interested in signing up to volunteer at their warming shelter.
"I expect people to come and be warm and safe and get out of the bitter, bitter cold," Larson Andrews said.