Columbia warming centers and shelters invite people to stay warm

2 years 2 months 2 weeks ago January 07, 2015 Jan 7, 2015 Wednesday, January 07 2015 Wednesday, January 07, 2015 7:43:00 AM CST in News
By: Jasmine Dell, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The Activity Recreation Center is identified as one of the warming centers in town. A warming center means it has public restrooms, water and a lobby area for anyone to keep warm. Previously, the lowest temperature this season was nine degrees on December 31st. Wednesday is the coldest day so far this year.

Some schools have been delayed because of the cold weather. KOMU's weather team advises if you have errands to run to do it in a timely manner. In extremly cold conditions like Wednesday, you only need to be outside for about thirty minutes with exposed skin to get frost bite. Advice for children is to keep warm inside in a heated areas and to have as much skin covered as possible.

ARC Recreation Supervisor of Operations and Programming Brian Higginbotham said, "We welcome people to come in and get out of the cold. We know we are in between residential neighborhoods and a grocery store. If you have to stop in with groceries, that's fine, as long as you come in and warm up."

"It's really early, bitter cold and the sun has not come up yet. We might see a group come in and I hope we do. That lets us know that people know we are here to help them out and we are open for them," Higginbotham said.

"I would imagine most places like the public library that are warming centers will see an earlier rush in the morning."

Higginbotham said he thinks as the day goes on more business will be available to meet the same needs, keeping people warm and letting them continue their daily activites.

The city of Columbia wants the community to know there are places to go to keep warm. Here is the list of warming centers provided by the city.

Warming centers are available to the general public during the building's normal business hours:

  • ARC (Activity and Recreation Center) at 1707 West Ash Street - 573.874.7700
  • Armory Sports and Community Center at 701 East Ash Street - 573.874.7466
  • Boone County Government Center at 801 East Walnut - 573.886.4305
  • Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health & Human Services at 1005 West Worley - 573.874.7488
  • Columbia Public Library at 100 West Broadway - 573.443.3161
  • Salvation Army at 1108 West Ash Street - 573.442.3229
  • Salvation Army Harbor House at 602 North Ann - 573.442.1984
  • St. Francis House at 901 Rangeline - 573.875.4913

There are also places available for people who need shelter from the cold:

  • Official Shelters provide sleeping accommodations. These locations may or may not include meals. Columbia's official shelters include:
  • New Life Evangelistic Center (for men) at 901 Wilkes Blvd - 573.875.0603
  • Rainbow House (for children/youth) at 1611 Towne Dr. - 573.474.3558
  • Salvation Army Harbor House at 602 North Ann - 573.442.1984
  • St. Francis House (for men) at 901 Rangeline - 573.875.4913
  • True North (for victims of domestic violence) - 573.875.1369
  • Welcome Home (for veterans) at 1206 Rangeline - 573.443.8001

The Department of Public Health and Human Services offers two utility assistance programs for qualified Boone County Residents. H.E.L.P. provides one-time utility assistance to low income families with young children in the home and C.A.S.H., which provides utility assistance to low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities. For more information, please contact 573-817-6430.

For more information on Warming Centers or utility assistance programs, visit the City of Columbia website.

 

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