Carbondale Warming Center to stay open, asking for donations of medical equipment

By Bethany Rentfro, Staff Reporter

The Carbondale Warming Center is staying open, despite the closure of homeless shelters in Jackson County and surrounding areas due to COVID-19. 

The Warming Center’s mission statement is to “provide nighttime sleeping space on cold nights as a supplement to Carbondale’s existing shelter system for the sake of human dignity, safety and survival.” 

In a statement on the City of Carbondale website, the Warming Center’s board members made the decision to stay open because they felt closing their doors would add to the public crisis. 

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The Warming Center has served 177 individuals and provided 2,171 nights to homeless men, women and children this past winter, according to their website. 

Their goal is to stay open 24 hours a day and to provide daytime and nighttime shelter to current residents for the duration of Gov. JB Pritzker’s shelter in place order, according to the website.

The center is currently serving 30 to 35 residents per night and they are asking for donations to help keep their shelter running 24/7. 

The center currently needs non perishable food items, washcloths, towels, disinfecting wipes, gloves, masks and hand sanitizer. 

The Warming Center is asking people to bring those donations to the Carbondale Fire Station 1 or 2, according to a release on their website. 

The center is also in need of financial donations and checks can be made payable to Carbondale Warming Center. 

The Warming Center said on their website “keeping the center open more hours during the course of the COVID-19 emergency requires more staff and more funds than we could have anticipated.” 

“We are making an effort to offer our guests a space in which to stay at home in compliance with the governor’s orders,” the website said. “Financial donations are needed and appreciated at this time!”

Staff reporter Bethany Rentfro can be reached via email at [email protected]

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