Arthur Simko spent one night in his cold home before deciding that he couldn't spend another one. So he headed to the Newtown Middle School where he has stayed overnight since Sunday.
His routine for the past couple of days has been to spend his days at his home and nights at the middle school on a cot. He's even left his blanket and some belongings on the cot.
"I left it here because I knew I would be coming back," the 82-year-old resident said.
Simko was one of about three dozen or so residents who have taken up the town's offer to stay at the shelter at the middle school. Volunteers from the American Red Cross as well as members of the 2nd Company's Horse Guard – a certified Community Emergency Response Team – run the shelter and provide meals to residents who use it.
The school also has a shower available to the public, which is a main draw.
April Wright, 28, and her family have been at the middle school for the past two days to stay in line to use the shower. On Monday, the family waited for two hours while Tuesday, the wait was significantly shorter as showers became available at the Newtown Youth Academy.
Wright said that the family has been able to stay at their home at night but she already has set her sights on an automatic generator, which will cost $2,000 and about $1,500 to install.
"All I want from Christmas is a generator," Wright said. "I already called an electrician."