Warming centers take on extreme temperatures

Local warming centers are working hard to keep people safe in sub-zero temperatures.

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 5:24 AM
Updated: Jan 2, 2018 7:34 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -  Warming centers in the area are keeping doors open for people who need it. 

Dorothy Day Hospitality House usually has a eligibility rule where guests who stay for two weeks cannot come back for 60 days. But when temperatures are this low, people are always welcome despite when they last stayed at the house. 

"We started what we call 'cold weather nights.' And any night that the temperatures are going to be cold we open the free beds up for anyone who may need a bed. And it doesn't make a difference how long they've been away from the house. If they just checked out yesterday, they're eligible today for the cold weather night," Charlie Kirby, Dorothy Day Hospitatliy House President, said. 

The Salvation Army's warming center in Rochester is seeing an average of 25 guests per night. Alex Hurlebaus is the warming center's coordinator. He says the warming center is transforming from a helpful resource to possibly a life-changing one. 

"It is unsafe out there. It is not acceptable for anybody to be outside for any amount of time. You know, you step outside and your hands are exposed for 10 seconds, it's pretty terrible," he said. 

He said they are making efforts to accommodate the extreme temperatures. 

"When I'm here I let guests in. So 5 o' clock instead of 7 o' clock. We've had volunteers who've hung out a little longer in the morning to make sure people can stay," he said. "We'd like to do more in that respect but again we're working with the volunteers that we have and what they're able to do."

The warming center has been able to increase their volunteer base, now seeing about 150 volunteers. The community has also been helping by providing warm meals and donating clothes. But there is still a need. 

"Long term goal being open five months straight out of the year. We're getting closer to having a volunteer base that could support that," Hurlebaus. 

People can get involved in volunteering by heading to the Dorothy Day Hospitality House website or calling the Salvation Army's office and asking to reach Alex Hurlebaus. 

"If you've ever wanted to see your time, your effort...if you've ever wanted to immediately see that that made a difference, there is no better volunteer opporunity than this," Hurlebaus said. "Just making sure someone has a warm place to be, a warm meal to eat. You are ensuring that just by being here, just by existing as a volunteer six hours of your night."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 556381

Reported Deaths: 7098
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1158471682
Ramsey47939856
Dakota42586422
Anoka38655415
Washington24993274
Stearns21052219
St. Louis16821298
Scott16013117
Wright14818127
Olmsted1276297
Sherburne1064880
Carver984945
Clay783490
Rice7649101
Blue Earth698640
Kandiyohi628181
Crow Wing618186
Chisago550650
Otter Tail543973
Benton532297
Mower451132
Goodhue444172
Douglas442870
Winona438649
Nobles400648
Morrison396059
McLeod395255
Isanti378259
Itasca373653
Beltrami372957
Polk366067
Steele364014
Becker356048
Lyon348648
Carlton329452
Freeborn328129
Pine312321
Nicollet307542
Brown294739
Mille Lacs282150
Le Sueur270822
Todd268830
Cass250426
Meeker237437
Waseca231421
Martin213429
Wabasha19953
Roseau197818
Renville172543
Hubbard172341
Dodge17193
Redwood166335
Houston162614
Cottonwood157021
Fillmore15179
Pennington151019
Chippewa146537
Wadena144621
Faribault144019
Sibley136410
Kanabec131721
Aitkin128736
Watonwan12569
Rock123019
Jackson117410
Yellow Medicine110819
Pipestone109926
Pope10306
Murray10269
Swift100018
Marshall85617
Stevens82210
Lake78419
Clearwater77814
Koochiching77313
Wilkin77012
Lac qui Parle73622
Big Stone5644
Lincoln5592
Grant5498
Norman5229
Mahnomen5088
Unassigned50378
Kittson46822
Red Lake3877
Traverse3605
Lake of the Woods3073
Cook1460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 358085

Reported Deaths: 5821
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56023604
Linn20310330
Scott19111234
Black Hawk15560306
Woodbury14906221
Johnson1405881
Dubuque13162202
Dallas1090196
Pottawattamie10763162
Story1031547
Warren555686
Clinton537790
Cerro Gordo522986
Webster508391
Sioux506673
Marshall477274
Muscatine460796
Des Moines441965
Wapello4254120
Buena Vista421940
Jasper407670
Plymouth397479
Lee368555
Marion354575
Jones293155
Henry286337
Bremer279360
Carroll279351
Crawford261840
Boone258833
Benton250355
Washington249550
Dickinson242343
Mahaska224850
Jackson218242
Kossuth213063
Clay211225
Tama206671
Delaware203039
Winneshiek194433
Page190421
Buchanan188831
Cedar184423
Fayette183041
Wright180435
Hardin179942
Hamilton178149
Harrison176473
Clayton167155
Butler162534
Mills158720
Cherokee157138
Floyd155442
Lyon154841
Madison154119
Poweshiek152733
Allamakee149151
Iowa145524
Hancock143734
Winnebago136131
Grundy135332
Cass134654
Calhoun133211
Jefferson131035
Emmet128740
Shelby128637
Sac127319
Louisa127249
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125341
Union124132
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie117929
Franklin112821
Palo Alto111022
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10050
Clarke98323
Keokuk94730
Monroe94128
Ida89733
Adair84532
Pocahontas83721
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75516
Lucas74923
Worth7098
Taylor65312
Fremont6139
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4939
Adams3284
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