Where homeless, others can go to get out of the cold
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With local temperatures taking a deep dive into the teens, Augusta-area residents and officials are preparing for a bitterly cold Christmas weekend.
The cold weather has prompted a FIRST ALERT from the News 12 weather team.
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“We’re looking at much-below normal temperatures, potentially record-low temperatures, leading up to the Christmas holiday,” said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Local agencies that offer daytime and overnight warming shelters include:
- Augusta Rescue Mission, 526 Walker St.
- Garden City Rescue Mission, 828 Fenwick St.
- Salvation Army Center of Hope, 1384 Greene St.
People in need of shelter should call 706-826-7933, and transportation at no cost to these locations can be scheduled by calling Augusta Transit at 706-821-1719 before 8 p.m.
MORE FROM NEWS 12:
- Salvation Army offering shelter from cold temperatures
- Local mechanics debunk winter car hacks trending on social media
- How to prepare your home for major freeze
- Tips for protecting your pets during extremely cold weather
Several community centers in Richmond County operate as warming shelters during the following hours:
- Carrie J. Mays Center, 1014 11th Ave., 706-821-2827, 10:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- Bernie Ward Center, 1941 Lumpkin Road, 706-790-0588, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Blythe Center, 3129 Highway 88, 706-592-4988, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- May Park, 622 Fourth St., 706-724-0504, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- McBean Center, 1155 Hephzibah/McBean Road, 706-560-2628, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sand Hills Center, 2540 Wheeler Road, 706-842-1912, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- W.T. Johnson Center, 1606 Hunter St., 706-821-2866, 9 a.m. to noon
- Warren Road Center, 300 Warren Road, 706-860-2833, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Diamond Lakes Regional Park, 4335 Windsor Spring Road, 706-826-1370, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cold weather has already taken the life of a homeless person in Atlanta.
Atlanta homeless advocate George Chidi said he went to check on a woman with severe mental health issues in downtown Atlanta earlier this year and found she had died of suspected hypothermia just hours earlier. Her body was found outside the Greyhound bus station, which is open 24 hours in the heart of downtown Atlanta, he said.
“She died within 100 feet of three heated buildings,” Chidi said.
He said people without housing who die in freezing weather often do so because they are battling alcohol, drugs or severe mental illness, or they do not trust others and find themselves on the streets rather than a shelter with other people.
And in the South, weather patterns can make it comfortable one week, but suddenly freezing the next.
“A main factor isn’t the temperature itself,” Chidi said. “It’s the speed with which the temperature drops.”
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