Several warming stations open during cold snap

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Those who need a place to go will not be left out in the cold. Several warming stations have opened up in and around Birmingham.

202 cots were available for folks without heat and the homeless. The city of Birmingham, American Red Cross and the Jefferson County EMA joined to help folks deal with the cold snap.

The doors at the Boutwell Auditorium opened at 6:00 p.m. They will remain open until 7:00 a.m. The warming station will follow that pattern, open at 6:00 and close at 7:00, until Monday morning.

The city has teamed up with Jefferson County EMA and the American Red Cross to sponsor the station. They stress this a warming station and not a shelter. It will serve as overflow from local homeless shelters, but also for folks who do have adequate heating in their homes.

At the Boutwell Auditorium, they will have room for up to 200 people. Cots will be provided, but food will not be. They will serve coffee, water and hot chocolate along with snacks and have games for the kids.

"You hate to thinking about it but there are many people in this community who don't have warm place to sleep," says Mark Kelly with the Jefferson County EMA. "They may have house power, but no heat. We've had situations where firefighters out in this weather putting out fire because people who were trying to keep warm."
Besides the Boutwell, there are also other warming stations around the metro. You can find them at the Moody United Methodist Church in Moody, the First Baptist Church in Pell City, the Springville First United Methodist Church, the World Outreach Community Center in Oneonta and the Locust Fork Baptist Church will open Thursday.

More warming stations may become available if necessary