City, local nonprofits join together to open warming center

JACKSON, Tenn. — A temporary warming shelter for men is coming to the Hub City.

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The City of Jackson is teaming up with local nonprofits to provide a warming center for the homeless this winter.

“It will be a nighttime warming shelter for our homeless population here in Jackson, so they’ll have an opportunity between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to check in and have a warm place to stay,” said Jackson Mayor Scott Conger.

The temporary shelter will be located at the Carl Perkins Civic Center downtown, where people can get a meal and additional support through local agencies.

“They’ll have food, a warm place to stay, an opportunity for showers, especially during these next few months will be critical,” Mayor Conger said.

Michael Roby with Area Relief Ministries says the warming center is a temporary solution to housing for homeless men through the winter.

“It’s cold. We lost someone the other night, two people to freezing, and it happens every year. It’s always at the beginning of the year when it gets cold before they’re ready and it freezes them to death,” Roby said.

The city has partnered with several groups, including the Regional Inter-Faith Association, Area Relief Ministries, the Salvation Army, and others.

“This right here, I see is an expression of community where the different nonprofit leaders and the community leaders are coming together after recognizing that there is a need to solve an issue that we have in Jackson,” said Lt. Mark Cancia with the Salvation Army.

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Tennessee Homeless Solutions Executive Director Amy McDonald says this is a step toward helping the homeless find permanent shelter.

“We hope to resolve homeless episodes with the persons who are staying in the warming center so that it is rotated,” McDonald said.

The warming shelter will open December 28 and will remain open in the evenings through March 15.

Tennessee Homeless Solutions is seeking volunteers for the shelter. If you’d like to be come a volunteer, visit Tennessee Homeless Solutions’ website or call them at (731) 736-4211.

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