Thursday, February 2, 2023

Local business opens heating station amid winter blast


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – Heating stations have been crucial to the survival of people who will be without heat or even without a home to keep warm since late December 22nd.

“It was easy to say, you know what, I’ve got a space, and there’s warm coffee, and before I knew it … people were dropping off donuts and bringing in donations,” said Alchemy Arts owner LeMegan Shelton.

Alchemy Arts and Clean Line Tattoos are among the local businesses that offered their new space located off the Bypass as a warming shelter for people in the city.

“It feels like a lot of our homeless population isn’t always comfortable in shelters and this is an alternative space. It is a safe space. It’s a neat space and we still have some work to do around the shop. I felt it was the right thing to do,” Shelton said.

Shelton says their shop is multifaceted and plans to offer much more than just tattoos and piercings. Shelton wants it to be a place to focus on sober living, where everyone is welcome with donuts, coffee and even warm clothes if needed.

“This shouldn’t be a rock star’s environment. This can be a place where you can go ahead and relax. It shouldn’t be a stressed area, but it should be relaxing and evolve around recovery,” said Clean Line Tattoo owner John Nichols.

The owners said a man who stopped walking in the freezing cold was able to get a new pair of warm, dry socks and was as sweet as could be.

“It turned out to be a very good day,” Shelton said.

The owners just knew it was the right thing to do especially as a new business just starting out in town.

“A tattoo and body piercing shop is somewhere that certain populations feel at home, you know, whereas a therapist’s office or shelters or doctor’s offices, not so much. But a place like this, like you, you really feel like you can come and make yourself a cup of coffee and kick your feet up and be comfortable and warm up and hang out with your people,” Shelton said.

The store plans to remain open as a warming shelter well into Christmas Eve.

Some other places that offer warming shelters to the public in Warren County are the Salvation Army, Room at the Inn, Tru by Hilton, Kummer Little Recreation Center and Hyatt Place.

You can visit our warming shelter story to learn more here.



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