Columbia warming centers provide shelter from bitter cold

11 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, December 26 2017 Dec 26, 2017 Tuesday, December 26, 2017 7:57:00 PM CST December 26, 2017 in News
By: Hailey Jennings, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - With temperatures dropping into the single digits, more people are turning to warming centers to escape the cold.

Wednesday's high temperature is forecast to be 19 degrees, and wind chills, especially overnight, may drop below zero.

These low temperatures could affect people without heat or a place to stay.

The City of Columbia offers warming and cooling centers, which are areas open to the general public that allows people to step inside and warm up. They are open throughout the building's normal business hours.

If needed, shelters provide sleeping accommodations.

One building that offers a warming and cooling service is the Activity and Recreation Center. ARC Supervisor Brian T. Higginbotham said the location and size are perfect for accommodations.

“We are a public building, so 73,000 square feet here, and we’re located kind of centrally here between residential areas, businesses, so there’s a lot of foot traffic.”

The ARC offers chairs and food options.

“A warming center for us is basically just a being a host site for somebody can walk through the door. There’s no admission or anything. We have a concessionary with tables and chairs for people to sit down, get warm. We also have a hallway with some little sofa-type chairs. Basically that’s what we offer,” Higginbotham said.

He said the ARC gives people who don’t have shelter another option.

“It’s a good service that the city can provide people that, you know, don’t have shelter this time of year, when you have freezing cold temperatures,” Higginbotham said.

One frequent ARC user said the atmosphere is warm and inviting.

“It’s great. You have a very nice temperature in here. If people want to come over here and warm up and it’s cold outside, it’s a good place to come,” Raul Costillo said.

Higginbotham said people don’t have to feel embarrassed or worry they might be  asked why they've come to the ARC.

“We welcome people," he said, “We don’t keep a head count on who comes in to warm up in a public building. We don’t really keep track of who’s here for warming, who’s here for exercising because we do have a free area in our lobby,” Higginbotham said.

The city's website has a list of all the warming and cooling areas available.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The former chief financial officer for Columbia Public Schools was sentenced Thursday to five years probation. Anna... More >>
22 minutes ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City teen has been charged in connection with a November fatal shooting. Bruce Thomas... More >>
40 minutes ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are investigating multiple reports of bomb threats made via email to businesses in the Columbia area,... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:52:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Department of Transportation director Patrick McKenna met with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Thursday to discuss the... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:21:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in Continuous News
WASHINGTON D.C. - Democrat Claire McCaskill had stern words for her soon-to-be former colleagues in the Senate in a farewell... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:20:50 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Gun deaths in America have reached a record high. Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:09:10 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Department of Transportation director Patrick McKenna met with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Thursday to discuss the... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:09:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
FULTON - A warehouse complex that has been standing in Fulton, with some parts dating back to the 19th century,... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:45:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Community members have differing emotions after two fatal shootings in Jefferson City in less than a week.... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:25:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man was sentenced for his role in a chid sex trafficking ring, the U.S. District... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE - A woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to helping her husband commit child sex crimes in 2015 and 2016, nearly... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:44:34 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of debate and negotiation, Congress voted final approval Wednesday to a massive farm bill that... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:57:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
MEXICO - The Mexico Public Safety Department arrested a man in connection to a car theft and a home burglary... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 8:33:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna will talk to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Thursday about future plans for Missouri... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:36:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police said they are investigating a fatal shooting from late Wednesday night. The Jefferson City Police... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:46:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - A student is in custody after they allegedly threatened Laura Speed Elliott Middle School. According to police, the... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:42:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Christmas is nearing and there are still local families in need. Voluntary Action Center is asking for... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:16:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- House and Senate negotiators have struck a deal over long-stalled legislation to revamp the way sexual harassment complaints... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:43:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
7pm 43°
8pm 42°
9pm 41°
10pm 41°