City of Detroit Warming Centers Are Now Open To Help Those In Need

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This week brings some of the lowest temperatures Detroit has seen this winter, which can be especially dangerous for the homeless population or those without heat.

In order to create warming centers to help provide food and shelter to persons who are homeless and do not frequent existing homeless shelters available within the city limits, the City of Detroit has partnered with Cass Community Social Services, Operation Get Down, and Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. Additional support will also be provided through respite centers for those who are not homeless but still in need.

The warming centers will be open from now through March 31, 2015 and are expected to accommodate between 350-400 persons at a time.

Warming Centers

Families only – Cass Community Social Services, located at 3901 Cass Avenue between Woodward and Second Avenue, serves families (parents and children only). The center has 50 beds available and is open from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. For more information, contact Rev. Faith Fowler at (313) 833-7730 or (313) 883-2277 or via email at

Men only – There are 100 beds available for men only at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, located at 3535 Third Avenue near downtown Detroit. Its hours of operation are 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. To learn more, contact Daniel Townsend
at (313) 993-6703 or via e-mail at

Men, women, and children – Operation Get Down has 200 beds available for homeless persons. It’s located at 6821 Medbury Street, between I-94 Service Drive and E. Grand Boulevard. The facility is open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. For more information, contact Linda Jefferson at (313) 925-4138 or via email at

All the centers will operate during inclement weather, including holidays. Services include two hot meals, counseling, showering, and sleeping accommodations. If staff at the center determine that a client requires medical attention, an on-call nurse may be contacted for minor medical needs. In extreme cases, EMS will be called and the client will be taken to a medical facility. There will also be support services available like housing assistance, referrals, and health screenings.

Interested clients may be picked up by vans from organizations that offer outreach services and/or referred by other homeless agencies. After entering the warming center, clients are expected to complete the intake process for admission. Individuals in the warming centers are supervised at all times to ensure the safety of all concerned.

If the forecast calls for temperatures of 10 degrees or lower, services will be extended to include daytime hours.

For information regarding the warming centers, call (313) 224-9224, 224-9027 or 610-1859.

Respite Centers

In addition to overnight warming centers, Detroit public library branches and recreation centers will function as daytime respite locations so individuals can escape the cold during the day. Check with your local DPL branch for hours of operation.

The recreation center times and locations are as follows:

Butzel Family Center | 7737 Kercheval
Monday – Friday | 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Crowell Recreation Center | 19601 Lahser Rd
Tuesday – Friday | 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Heilmann Recreation Center | 16630 Crusade
Tuesday – Friday | 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Williams Recreation Center | 8431 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Monday – Friday | 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

If you have questions, you can call the Recreation Department at (313) 224-1100 for more information.

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