NewsLocal NewsKzoo/BCKalamazoo


Kalamazoo to open temporary warming shelter ahead of extreme cold weather

Cold weather settles in West Michigan, how you can help keep others safe
Posted at 12:13 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 12:13:54-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The City of Kalamazoo is opening up a temporary warming shelter for its unhoused population ahead of frigid temperatures expected this weekend.

RELATED: Snow arrives this afternoon, Arctic blast to follow

It’ll open Friday at 7 a.m. on a city-owned parcel near the homeless encampment by Mills Street and Riverview Drive, according to a news release Thursday.

“Through collaboration with our community partners, including the United Way and the Kalamazoo County Continuum of Care, we were able to act quickly and stand up this temporary warming shelter to help keep these vulnerable members of our community safe and warm during these sub-zero temperatures,” said Jim Ritsema, city manager of Kalamazoo. “We are incredibly thankful that our partners and local volunteers stepped up to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our community.”

In compliance with the city’s Extreme Temperature Emergency Response Plan, the warming shelter will remain in operation as long as temperatures are below five degrees, or the wind chill is below zero.

The temporary warming shelter will be equipped with heating and capacity to accommodate 60 people.

Other community partners helping out during the extreme cold weather event include Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, River Church, Ministry With Community and Integrated Services of Kalamazoo.

The warming shelter will operate 24 hours a day and will be staffed by Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers.