Two hours out of the cold

Pat Lucier takes a no-nonsense approach to running the cot program in the basement of the YWCA’s Our House on 15th Street. © Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

The Daily Herald spent an evening with Pat Lucier at the YWCA’s cold weather shelter, a refuge for those fleeing the looming winter

Gregory staggers down the stairs of the YWCA’s Our House shelter. He’s got long, lightly matted hair and chipped front teeth. He’s wearing a trench coat covered with the insignia of the heavy metal band Slipknot. He has stainless steel spikes jutting out of his leather gloves.

Pat Lucier guides him to the basement.

“Date of birth?” she asks.

“1973.”

“Intoxicated I take it?”

His posture is answer enough.

“Last place of residence.”

“Streets.”

“Source of income?”

No answer.

“Do you get social assistance of any kind?”

“No.”

He takes off the trench coat, the spikes, his boots, and tosses them on the floor.

“Be responsible,” Pat tells him. “Put them in the bin.”

“Well, I’m trying my bestestesss,” Gregory answers.

On this chilly Tuesday night, -1 degree centigrade, Pat is in charge of the YWCA’s cold weather shelter, descriptively known as the cot program. The program opened this week, offering a safe, warm place to crash for the city’s homeless.

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