Warming Stations Help Homeless Through the Cold Season

blankets_shutterstock_WEBAs most of the nation braves freezing temperatures this month, Southern Nevadans are generally comfortable; as most of the nation eagerly embraces outdoor activities in the summer, we’re huddled inside, clinging to any cooling element imaginable. That’s why we may overlook the necessity of warming stations for the homeless and poor during our few bouts with dangerously cold weather.

The Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition’s Inclement Weather Shelter Program provides daytime and overnight shelter from November until late March at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada (1511 Las Vegas Blvd. North, for men only); the Salvation Army (33 W. Owens Ave., North Las Vegas, for men and women) and the Shade Tree (1 W. Owens Ave., North Las Vegas, for women and children).

Each night from December 27-30—when low temps dipped well below freezing—more than 600 men used the Catholic Charities facility, which is funded for 340. “They try to accommodate as best as they can, and many times there are men sleeping on the floor, just so they don’t have to spend the night in the frigid temperatures,” says Leslie Carmine, a spokeswoman for the agency. “We see a mixture of everybody—those who use the shelter regularly, new people and those who are service-resistant will come in for help.”

Weather warnings trigger the opening of additional municipal locations for daytime respite. “We’re able to do it with existing staff and existing resources,” Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin says. “Generally, it’s designating a room inside a community center as a location for anyone who needs to come in.”

To find the nearest warming station, call 211 or visit HelpHopeHome.org.