While places like the Motor Speedway Museum, Monument Circle, and the Indy 500 are hot tourist attractions in Indianapolis, it doesn’t exclude visitors and locals from the bitter cold. With various winter storms, record low temperatures, and no end in sight for the cold, the city is taking a proactive approach to keeping everyone warm.
Marion County officials are creating warming centers inside various Indianapolis parks and public libraries. The Salvation Army is also opening warming centers and plans to offer coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks to those in need.
These warming centers are meant to help individuals dealing with homelessness during these cold months. While county warming centers are currently open during business hours, there are also several locations where people can find overnight shelter, like the Wheeler Mission.
The three Salvation Army warming centers (Army Fountain Square Community center, Center City Corps, and Eagle Creek Community Center) are open from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm. The Salvation Army can also prepare the Eagle Creek Community Center to serve as an overnight shelter if county locations become full.
Volunteers Make a Difference
Warming centers rely on the help of volunteers. Whether it’s people preparing food for those in need or staff to help welcome folks out of the cold, there are plenty of opportunities to serve. If you’re interested in help, contact your local Salvation Army or look for the county warming center nearest to you.
There are other ways you can help homeless Hoosiers during these winter months. You may have some old blankets or clothes lying around that would be perfect donations. Gifts of non-perishable food items are always welcome. In some cases, merely spending time at the center playing cards, sharing stories, or preparing meals can make a huge difference.
Protect Yourself When It’s Cold
Emergency Management crews suggest limiting your exposure when the temperature is cold. That means wearing the appropriate clothing and covering as much skin as possible. When possible, change into dry clothes whenever your clothing becomes wet.
Pets should also limit their exposure to cold temperatures. This might mean shorter walks with the dog, but it’s worth it. Cold air, rain, sleet, and snow can not only cause chapped paws and itchy skin but can also be painful for pets.
If you run into an emergency situation, Indianapolis has food assistance and a crisis hotline available by dialing 211.
When the weather is this cold and storms keep coming, it’s critical that the people of Indianapolis look out for each other. That’s what makes this crossroads of America so great from the start.
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