Columbus Mayor Robert Smith has ordered the opening of an emergency overnight warming center for residents that need heated shelter during the impending hazardous cold weather. The GTR Homeless Coalition has joined with the City of Columbus to open the facility. The center will be located at the Columbus Police Department at 1501 Main Street inside the police station and will open today, Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Mayor Smith and Martha Kirkley, the co-president of the Homeless Coalition, made the announcement Monday morning under an emergency declaration. Kirkley leads the Coalition with Rev. Sandra Depriest, the other co-president.

“We are thrilled to work with the city for this important emergency need,” said Kirkley. “We are thankful for the Mayor and the City moving so quickly to make this happen.”

Genesis Church and pastor Darren Leach are also taking part in the work.

The center will open at 3 p.m. today (November 12, 2019) and remain open November 12-15 (Tuesday-Friday). The center will close each morning at 8 a.m. and reopen at 3 p.m.

With cold temperatures expected to drop to 18 degrees tonight and stay near freezing each night this week, City officials are making the facility available for those in need. Those needing shelter are asked to come to the side entrance of the department for admittance to the facility.

Area churches or civic organizations are being asked to donate meals, coffee or other items to the center can call Glenda Richardson at 662-364-1850.

For more information on the center or other places to stay, call Glenda Richardson, City of Columbus Community Outreach Director at 662-364-1850.