GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With bitter cold headed toward West Michigan in the coming week, several organizations are offering up space as warming centers.
Here’s a list of Grand Rapids warming centers and their hours, arranged alphabetically:
- Crossroads Bible Church | 800 Scribner Ave. NW | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Degage Ministries | 114 S. Division Ave. | 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily | Open Door offered 24 hours a day
- Exodus Place | 322 Front Ave. SW | 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
- Heartside Ministries | 54 S. Division Ave. | 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
- Mel Trotter Ministries | 225 Commerce Ave. SW | 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily
- Mel Trotter Ministries at Purple East | 250 Ionia Ave. SW | 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
The city of Kalamazoo is opening a warming center at the city-owned lot at Mills Street and Riverview Drive, near a homeless encampment in the area. It will open at 7 a.m. Friday and remain open as long as temperatures are below 5 degrees or the wind chill is below zero and can serve up to 60 people.
Other warming centers can be found at:
- Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries | 448 N. Burdick St. | Overnight homeless shelter and warming center during the day.
- Ministry with Community | 500 N. Edwards St. | Daytime warming center with to-go breakfast and lunch.
- The River Church | Ransom Street at Walbridge Street | Daytime warming and service center; expanding for weekend service.
Integrated Services of Kalamazoo is also housing about 40 people in 25 rooms at the former Knights Inn. Contact the agency for more information.
ELSEWHERE IN WEST MICHIGAN
Near the lakeshore, it’s been recommended that people contact the Muskegon Rescue Mission at 231.727.6085 or 231.727.6090. People may also call 211.
The Barry County Serenity Club at 301 S. Michigan Ave. in Hastings says it will host an “Alco-thon” all weekend so that it can be open all day and serve as a warming center. Those who need help staying sober during the Super Bowl are also welcome.
GRAND RAPIDS HOMELESS OUTREACH TEAM
Grand Rapids’ Homeless Outreach Team — made up of Grand Rapids firefighters, police officers and social workers — will be checking places where those who are homeless often set up camp and urging them to head to shelters or warming centers.
“We’re going to be going out there in the mornings when we start our shift to look for individuals who have chosen not to go into shelters or use the centers. And when we locate those individuals, we’re going to provide them information on where the current warming centers are available,” Grand Rapids Fire Department Lt. Eric Ryder said Monday. “So even if they chose to stay unsheltered overnight, they will have a place to go during the day.”
Along with welfare checks, the team will provide bus passes for people to get to daily warming centers and provide them gloves and hats.
HOT works 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The rest of the time, the Grand Rapids Police Department picks up the slack.
“Throughout the evening when HOT is not on duty, GRPD will be increasing patrols as they do during all cold spells, to look for individuals still on the street that need assistance at night,” Ryder explained.
—News 8’s Joe LaFurgey contributed to this report.