GALVESTON, Texas - Two warming centers in Galveston will open ahead of the arctic blast coming to southeast Texas.
The McGuire Dent Recreation Center on 2222 28th Street in Galveston will be open on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. The facility has a backup generator and will remain open until noon on Saturday, or as necessary. The city of Galveston asks folks to bring their own snacks, as no food will be served.
The Salvation Army on 601 51st Street in Galveston will expand their usual hot dinners and emergency overnight shelter needs to open during the day as a warming center as well.
Their dining room will open starting at 7 a.m. Friday to anyone who needs a place to sit down and thaw out. Packed lunches will be provided and a hot dinner will be served at 5 p.m. Movies and board games will also be available for entertainment.
Anyone who needs an overnight stay can check in starting at 6 P.M. every night.
Social services manager Mikala Halbrook said the facility was already over capacity Tuesday night when temperatures were in the 40s.
"Last night we actually housed 94 folks. We’re technically only supposed to do 93. But we have cots, we have extra mattresses, extra linen, we’re going to try and get everybody in that we can so that no one has to sleep outside," Halbrook said.
Halbrook said crews have set up cots to meet the anticipated overflow needs.
The warming center is currently set up for 48 people, but extra chairs and tables are available if necessary.
If the Salvation Army fills up significantly past capacity, overflow will be transferred to the City of Galveston's warming center at the McGuire Dent Recreation Center.
There are no requirements for getting into both locations and alcohol is prohibited.
Anyone who needs a ride can catch the bus that picks up on Broadway and 53rd Street in Galveston.
The Salvation Army is a donation-based organization that services men, women, and families. Due to the freezing forecast, the Salvation Army announced that it will have mostly unmanned kettles at Walmart, Sam's, and Kroger stores in Galveston on Friday and Saturday.
However, every dollar in the kettle will still be eligible for up to a $100,000 match challenge with the Moody Foundation from Dec. 16-24. Virtual kettle donations will still be available online.