Metro Detroit warming centers open doors, extend hours

Breana Noble
The Detroit News
A man rides a bicycle in the snow up Woodward Avenue in Detroit on Jan. 28, 2019.  
(Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)

As temperatures plunge this week, community centers, public libraries, police departments and churches are welcoming people to warm up. Places throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are opening their doors and extending their hours to offer relief.

Detroit's 12 recreation centers are open to the public during their regular operating hours. The Detroit Public Library locations, however, will be closed Wednesday and Thursday because of the cold.

Four warming centers also are open through March 31, when year-round shelters are at capacity. They are open 24/7 unless otherwise noted:

  • Cass Community Social Services at 1534 Webb St. is open for parents and children from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries at 2535 Third Ave. is open to men only.
  • Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries at 3840 Fairview St. is open to women and children only.
  • Lakeridge Village at 15941 Fairfield St. is open to all.

Emergency transportation is available to Cass Community Social Services at (313) 424-2202 and Lake Ridge Villages at (313) 778-0694.

Pastor Eddie C. Williams at Lakeridge Village, a nonprofit founded to help people find affordable housing, said he sees 30 to 40 people stay at the center every night during the winter and he expects to be busy over the next few days. Volunteers have brought food donations to the center's doorstep. Guests can get food, coffee, a cot and blanket to sleep.

"We're certainly busy with these seasonal record lows," Williams said. "We can't let nobody stay outside overnight, We're looking forward to helping people off the streets."

Warming centers are available this week as temperatures and windchill dip into the negatives.

The John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit also is offering a warming center for veterans and their families in room B1290 of the facility, 4646 John R, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, officials said.

In addition, overnight shelter is available Tuesday and Wednesday at two city churches: Pope Francis Center, 438 St. Antoine, which can accommodate 46 people, and St. Augustine/St. Monica, 4151 Seminole, which accommodates 47.

Each site is set to have 50 blankets, 50 cots and 50 comfort kits from the American Red Cross.

Around 50 warming centers in Wayne County's suburbs also are open. A few are available for overnight shelter and under special circumstances:

  • Dearborn Community & Performing Arts Center & Recreation Center, (313) 943-2350
  • Dearborn Police Department, (313) 943-2230
  • Gibraltar City Hall, (734) 676-3900
  • Grosse Ile Public Safety Building, (734) 676-1022
  • Hamtramck Senior Plaza, (313) 873-7878 Ext. 221
  • Lincoln Park Police Department, (313) 281-1800 Ext. 7
  • River Rouge City Hall/Police Department, (313) 842-4200
  • Rockwood City Hall, (734) 955-4120
  • Romulus Senior Center, (734) 955-4120
  • Southgate Senior Center, (734) 258-3066
  • Taylor Recreation Center, (734) 374-8900
  • Van Buren Police Department, (734) 699-8900
  • Wayne Police Department, (734) 721-1414, Ext. 7
  • Westland Police Department, (734) 722-9600
  • Woodhaven Fire Station No. 1, (734) 675-4918                                                  More than a dozen warming centers are open in Oakland County during the day, according to its homeland security division's website. The city of Wixom's City Hall and Police Department will allow people to stay as long as it is dangerously cold. The Novi Civic Center also will be open overnight until 8 a.m. Friday.

The Macomb County Department of Health and Community Services has a list of nearly a couple dozen warming centers open across 15 communities. Three facilities are operating overnight warming centers, though those in need of shelter should call ahead for availability and location:

  • Salvation Army Macomb's Answer to Temporary Shelter, (586) 755-5191
  • Macomb County Warming Center is open to adults only and rotates between several shelters, (586) 321-0998
  • Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, (586) 415-5101

To find additional warming center listings, residents also can dial 211 to speak with a representative from the United Way for Southeast Michigan.

"We do encourage individuals to use that number," said Vickie Winn, director of public relations for the nonprofit. "It's an easy number to remember, and they have lots of resources like food, clothing and shelter."