Ryan Peden, warming station manager at the Ministry Center, said the Conway community has been a tremendous help in making the inaugural warming station a success.
Local churches have provided meals and volunteers each night since the warming station opened on Christmas Eve, and local businesses have donated food and drinks.
The warming station will open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. through Feb. 28.
Peden on Thursday said the center has housed an average of 10-12 people each night.
Guests sign in by providing their names, dates of birth, emergency contact information and listing any medications they take.
Peden emails the Conway Police Department to check for active warrants and to ensure none of the guests are registered sex offenders.
“They haven’t had to come pick anybody up yet,” Peden said.
At 7 p.m., dinner is served.
“Each week a church has adopted us,” he said. “The food has been abundant and warm and good. Last night we had soups and chili. We’ve had lasagna and spaghetti, all kinds of great food.”
After dinner, guests are treated to a movie before the 10 p.m. bedtime. Peden wakes up the guests at 6 a.m. with coffee and breakfast sandwiches — donated by Starbucks — before everyone must leave at 7 a.m.
“It gives them an hour to stir around, wake up and drink coffee before we have to clear out,” he said.
The volunteer turnout has sometimes been higher than guests, he said.
“We had 13 volunteers show up last night,” he said. “They have been amazing.”