Cold, snowy weather is warming hearts as shelter opens

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the temperatures drop and snow continues to fall, city of Lockport residents are calling for a code blue, their third this week.

“f you’re from Buffalo or Lockport you kind of get used to it,” said Phil Lane, a Lockport native.

“It’s horrible,” said Alicia Lagace as the snow fell on her. “It’s nice one second and you think everything is all good and then it starts to snow terribly and it’s freezing outside.”

It’s those bitterly cold temperatures forcing the city of Lockport to call for a cold blue. This year, for the first year, when the temperatures dip too low, the Salvation Army is stepping up to help out.

“I’m glad we can have this facility here where were able to do this,” said Chris Gresard, the community outreach director for the Lockport Salvation Army. “To give people a chance to get out of this who don’t have any place.”

The Salvation Army has opened their doors three night this week already, offering cots and blankets, snacks and shelter.

It’s the first year they’re doing it, something Lagace was around last year.

“I was one of those people,” said Lagace, reminiscing about her life a year ago. “I was walking around; I had no where to go and I was freezing outside living inside of a car.”

Lagace said she would layer up all the clothing she owned, walking the streets. She said addiction and an unhealthy relationship led her to homeless. She has since changed her life; going to rehab, moving home and cutting ties with the person she was in a relationship with during that time in her life.

She is now four months sober, regularly attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings and has a place to call home and a car of her own. She says hearing about the Salvation Army opening their doors reminds her of all the good there is in the world, county and around Lockport

“Sometimes it’s nice to have somebody to open their doors,” said Lagace, her eyes tearing up. “Whether it’s coming to the Salvation Army and getting a hot meal or the warming shelter, it’s such a great idea especially because we live in Western New York and it’s freezing.”

“We need people to open their doors for people who are hungry or don’t have anywhere to go especially on colds night like this,” said Lane, as he passes the Salvation Army.  “It drops below zero and they could freeze. It’s not good.”

The shelter at the Salvation Army is open for anyone living on the streets or who may not not have heat. People can to the chapel entrance at Lockport location, 50 Cottage Street, from 8pm until midnight and stay through the morning. The shelter will remain open every night the city of Lockport declares a code blue. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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