Warming centers see a bump in attendence with low temperatures

Warming centers see a bump in attendence with low temperatures

SPOKANE, Wash. -  When temperatures take a dive into the single digits warming centers, like the Salvation Army's will see double the amount of people they're use to. On Tuesday night they had 42 people come in to the men's center on East Nora Avenue in Spokane

"The police department brings people up here regularly when they're out doing their rounds," Salvation Army's Stephen Ball said.

Most city agencies are informed when the center opens. They find ways to get the word out so that people aren't left in the cold. Kevin World said that a bus driver informed him and he's thankful for it.

"Anything below 32 degrees you have a chance of freezing," World said. "I don't want to die out there."

This is his second night at the center. It's a facility that doesn't offer beds, but rather is a warm place to ride out the night. He prefers it over a shelter because it better fits his lifestyle.

"This is just open to the public, it's a drop in situation," World said. "The other places are like a permanent stay."

Donny Bailey agrees. He said he likes living outside, but when it gets below 30 degrees, sleeping outside is risky.

"It is cold," Bailey said. "It will kill you out there if you pass out."

That's why he's been telling his friends about the center, in hopes it will save a life. He adds for the most part it's pretty low key.

"I've been here three times, but I've never seen any kind of confrontation."

Ball said that anyone is welcome, even if they're not sober.

"Their behavior is the main thing," Ball said. "If they're calm and they can behave in a community like that, they can come in here."

The Salvation Army is offering a warming center for men at 217 East Nora. Couples and families are welcome at the family resource center at 204 East Indiana. The Hope House has a center for women at 111 East 3rd. The centers open when it gets below 20 degrees. The hours run from 8 p.m. To 7:30 a.m.