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DeKalb County announces plan to open warming centers

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DeKalb County announces plan to open warming centers

FILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: Lee Hampton on right, case manager and P.A.T.H. (Projects for Assistance in Transitioning from Homelessness) team coordinator form Mercy Care calls another person forward to begin the transportation process. Photo by Dean Hesse.

DeKalb County, GA — The county on Dec. 16 outlined plans to open warming centers this winter.

The county said plans to open warming centers were in the works before several community organizations publicly called for the county to open them.

“The DeKalb Emergency Management Agency will open warming centers when temperatures drop below 35 degrees and are considered dangerous based on wind chill, precipitation and a predicted duration of two or more hours,” a spokesperson for the county said. “The warming centers will be in specified fire stations, senior centers and churches, as needed.”

Coalitions for Diverse Decatur/DeKalb, Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, the Justice for All Coalition, and a Home for Everyone in DeKalb issued a joint press release on Dec. 15 that noted homelessness has gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rev. Paul M. Turner of Gentle Spirit Christian Church said in the press release, “Long times of exposure to temps of 50 degrees and lower begin the process of hypothermia. The temperatures the homeless are now facing are more than a crisis, they are facing death!”

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