As freezing temperatures are expected to hit the area this week, the Turlock Rescue Mission is opening its doors as a warming center for homeless individuals and families.
The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for the local area, in effect from 2 a.m. Wednesday through 9 a.m. Friday. The coldest morning will be on Thursday as Valley lows may reach into the mid and upper 20s.
To help those seeking refuge from the cold, the Turlock Rescue Mission is opening a warming center from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. through the end of the week, and will continue to offer overflow shelter each night until the cold snap is over.
“A security guard will be onsite,” Christian Curby, executive director, said. “This is a safe place, and we urge those sleeping outside to come in and get warm.”
Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) and frostbite are both dangerous conditions that can happen when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
“An average 700 homeless people die on the streets in the U.S. each year due to exposure from the cold,” Curby said. “Many people who normally stay away from shelters don’t have proper clothing for the temperatures we’re expecting and are at serious risk. We want them to know we are ready to help them with shelter, clothing, hot meals and other needs.”
The Mission shelters an average of 40 individuals each night.
“We are committed to helping as many as possible under the circumstances,” Curby said. “Community support is vital now so we can provide cold weather clothing, hot meals, showers and other needs for those seeking shelter. We welcome financial donations and food, coats and other items.”
To make a financial donation, visit turlockgospelmission.org or call (209) 656-1033. To seek help for yourself or someone you know, call the Mission’s help line at the same number. The Mission is located at 437 S. Broadway in Turlock.
“Don’t hesitate to come in—we have a place for you at the Mission,” Curby said.