Living Out in the Cold

WILKES-BARRE — The freezing weather continued Wednesday, making many want to stay indoors. However, there are some people in Wilkes-Barre who don’t have that luxury.

The line was long at the St. Vincent De Paul soup kitchen in Wilkes-Barre. For many of the people there, that is the only place they have to stay warm.

“It’s very rough out there. I’m fortunate to have six layers of clothing on. It might not seem it but yeah. It’s getting colder and colder everyday,” said Anton Pechal of Wilkes-Barre.

Pechal is homeless, hopping from friend’s house to friend’s house, sometimes sleeping outdoors. He said he’s been coming to the soup kitchen on East Jackson Street regularly, and when he can’t get indoors, he said he just keeps walking.

“I probably lapped this city at least 50 times within the week. That’s the only way I know how to keep warm anymore,” said Pechal.

People we spoke with at the soup kitchen said in the cold weather like this, they stay under bridges or in parks to be better protected from the weather.

Now the soup kitchen has been especially busy. Chef manager Mike Cianciotti said the kitchen serves lunch to 300 people here everyday. Since it got especially cold, he said he’s noticed a change in their habits.

“We do open the doors earlier because the weather is colder. So they’re here longer. They come in earlier and stay longer, so they can stay out of the weather,” said chef manager Mike Cianciotti.

“It feeds me, and it’s really warm in here, and it’s really good,” said Megan Chew of Wilkes-Barre.

“It’s very comforting, especially during these cold days. It makes me feel like I have a family here,” said Pechal.

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