Columbia will extend a service this winter to reduce the harsh and sometimes fatal effects of cold weather on the homeless.
The Columbia City Council in October gave the nod to staff recommendations to open overnight warming centers when the temperature is forecast to be at or below 9 degrees between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. These centers will have no cots or other amenities but will provide basic shelter from the cold.
According to a memo to the City Council there were 10 days in 2018 that would have met the criteria and six thus far in 2019.
When weather is forecast to reach the minimum threshold, the city-county health director will ask the city manager to issue an alert. Once an alert is approved, the city will open a shelter for the night.
Notice will come through media alerts, social media and the city website. The city also will inform public safety agencies, groups that provide assistance to the homeless and hospitals.
To read more, visit our partners at the Columbia Missourian.