As the nights turn frigid, a small number of people in the Madison area are forced to seek shelter from the cold.

Despite what some might think, Madison does have homeless people - men, women and children who don’t know where they are going to sleep from one night to the next.

The problem becomes even more serious as winter approaches.

Local churches and organizations are working to ease some of the urgency to provide folks with shelter.

Through April 1, an overnight warming location for anyone in need will be opened and available when temperatures fall below 40 degrees. The station will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. on those nights.

The location of the station is currently rotated between three locations in Madison, including the Salvation Army and Faith Covenant Church downtown and Madison Assembly of God on the hilltop. Locations of the warming station will be available by calling the non-emergency dispatch phone number at (812) 265-2648.

Madison Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office have agreed to help with transportation to the warming station location.

A coalition was formed to address the area’s homeless issues and help people who may not have a place to stay, especially on cold winter nights.

The Salvation Army provides “pop-up shelter” items, like cots and blankets, and takes items to the warming station locations. While three churches are currently involved with the program, there is hope that more churches will join the effort.

Needs vary each night, but last year usually three to eight people would utilize a warming station when it was available.

If you want to help, contact The Salvation Army or one of the churches involved. There is always a need for volunteers or supplies. And, if you know of a homeless person or family, see to it that they get the word about the warming stations. No one should be forced to spend the night in a car, on a park bench or in an abandoned building.