Warming center provides relief from cold

By Lisa Rushing

January 29, 2014

Lisa Rushing

DOBBINS HEIGHTS — With temperatures in the teens on Tuesday night and the same expected for tonight, the town of Dobbins Heights opened up a temporary warming center.

Pastors Linda and Mordecai Ross, of Faith Assembly Outreach Ministries, agreed to extend the hours of their regular Tuesday night soup kitchen from 6:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. Linda Ross offered entertainment for both the children and adults with a biblical quiz game to “make the time go by and get in out of the cold” said City Councilwoman Angeline David.

The warming center is open again 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday at the Dobbins Heights Community Center, located at 195 Daniels St. David will be providing grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. There will also be hot beverages available.

“Come in out of the cold for a couple of hours,” David said.

The warming center may only be open for a few hours, but it is better than alternatives.

“During tough economic times when people don’t have then this eases the burden off their pocket a little bit,” Dobbins Heights Mayor Antonio Blue said.

Pride is a very powerful feeling, and can get in the way of people taking advantage of the help that’s available, David said. There is a to-go plate option, for those that do not feel comfortable staying but would like to take advantage of the generosity.

“We want to help, we give you the chance to come,” David said.

Temperatures are warmer during the day and there are local businesses available to keep warm in. At night, temperatures typically drop and businesses close, leaving those that need to stay warm with no place to go. Currently, there is not a homeless shelter in Richmond County, and the extreme winter weather county residents experienced only brings attention to the matter. The warming center was organized in less than 24 hours, but given time Blue and David would like to see an overnight option available in Dobbins Heights — at least in emergency situations such as extreme winter weather.

“I don’t think nobody would frown upon trying to bring some people in out of the cold overnight,” Blue said.

As to the rules and how that would work would be left up to the Dobbins Heights City Council to decide, Blue said.