Monday, November 7, 2011

Warming shelters will help homeless

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM

The HOT Team talks to the homeless in 2009.
  • The HOT Team talks to the homeless in 2009.

Every year, when the weather turns bitter cold, citizens worry about the same thing: Where in the world are the homeless going to go?

Thankfully, there is an answer. On truly freezing days, the homeless can go to warming shelters that are opened just to keep them out of the elements.

In fact, the city police's Homeless Outreach Team is known to scour creek beds on cold nights and get homeless people into warming shelters to avoid frostbite, or worse.

City reminds citizens of warming shelter

For Release: November 7, 2011 Contact: Gene Morris, (719) 955-8407

As winter temperatures continue to drop and as winter weather continues to threaten, The City of Colorado Springs reminds citizens of area Warming Shelters for those in need.
“Whenever blizzard conditions exist or whenever the ambient temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, we activate a Warming Shelter to provide a warm place out of the elements for those in need,” explained Office of Emergency Management Manager Bret Waters.
The primary warming shelter is located at the Salvation Army’s Montgomery Center (709 S. Sierra Madre Ave.), which can accommodate 45 individuals. The overflow location is the Springs Rescue Mission (5 W. Las Vegas St.), which can provide shelter for an additional 20 individuals.
During blizzard conditions, individuals can check into the shelter after 7 p.m. and stay until conditions improve. During cold-weather activation, individuals can check in after 7 p.m. but must check out the following morning by 7 a.m., unless temperatures are expected to remain below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Said Salvation Army Director Gene Morris, “The purpose of the Warming Shelter is to provide a safe refuge for those stuck outside during extreme winter weather conditions. Normal shelter services may not be available and shelter visitors are expected to follow all rules.”
Among the Warming Shelter rules are:
1) No animals allowed in the shelter;
2) No weapons, drugs, alcohol or violent behavior;
3) Absolutely no smoking in the building;
4) All bags/backpacks will be secured and inaccessible;
5) Intoxicated individuals are not allowed and may be transported to Detox;
6) Violent individuals will be transported to the Criminal Justice Center (CJC), (jail);
7) Security Guard will check clients for weapons;
8) When leaving in the mornings, put blankets in laundry cart near door for cleaning; and
9) Food and drink must be left in backpack. No food or drink in sleeping area.
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