PHOTO GALLERY: On a freezing Salem night, volunteers help shelter dozens at First Presbyterian Church

Volunteers at First Presbyterian Church prepare bags to store belongings overnight for warming shelter guests. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

With temperatures below freezing Wednesday night, people lined up by the dozens to get inside First Presbyterian Church.

The church basement serves as the largest of three Salem warming shelters, providing a place for about 90 people without shelter to go for the night when it’s too cold to be outside.

The centers, run by volunteers, have been short on help during a sustained cold period in Salem expected to last through early next week.

Mats cover the floor in the basement worship center at Salem’s First Presbyterian Church. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Chris, a warming center guest, plays with a fidget spinner.(Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Volunteer Delana Beaton writes a guest’s name on a wristband during check-in. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Buddy, a two-year-old terrier chihuahua mix, greets first-time volunteer Sandy Gilstrap as owner Michael Spears looks on. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Lead volunteer Russ Lipetsky makes sure the crew knows their jobs before opening the warming center doors. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Volunteer Bob Francis plugs in a guest’s phone for charging. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

A volunteer wheels personal belongings, including a tent, into a church room for storage overnight. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Ckierra McKenzie organizes her phone and extra battery packs so she can listen to music during her ten-hour workday assembling furniture. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

A volunteer searches for a blanket for a returning shelter guest. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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