Warming centers open to care for homeless individuals in freezing weather

Frigid temperatures will pose extra risks for Central Texas' homeless population Wednesday night.

The Salvation Army will open a warming station at 419 W. Ave. G in Temple at 6 p.m. to provide overnight care for homeless individuals, who would otherwise be outside battling the cold.

Warming stations open when temperatures reach especially low levels. In the past, a number of faith-based groups have operated as warming stations in the Temple area, but some of those are no longer providing that specific service.

Although warming centers are not run directly by the city, Temple Fire & Rescue has historically served as a conduit to provide information about them to the public. In keeping with that tradition, firefighters disseminated information about Wednesday's warming center at the public library and assistance organization Feed My Sheep -- both places were homeless people frequently congregate.

Temple Fire & Rescue Spokesperson Thomas Pechal said the decision to open any additional warming stations would be made on a day-to-day basis.

Like Temple, the City of Waco is not directly responsible for the operation of any warming centers -- which have always been run by local nonprofit organizations. It was not immediately clear if the Salvation Army in Waco would be offering that service in Waco Wednesday night. One representative was unaware of any program Wednesday night. And, a message for a supervisor was not immediately returned.

In Killeen, however, it was a different story. The Killeen Community Center has already seen individuals use its temporary warming center in recent days. And, a representative for the site said it would be open Wednesday night, too. If the weather improved, Wednesday would be the last day it was open as a warming center this week, he explained. The Killeen Community Center is located at 2201 E Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Killeen.

© 2018 KCEN-TV


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