With dangerous temperatures and wind chills due to dip below zero in the coming week, the city of Kalamazoo in conjunction with the Kalamazoo County Continuum of Care and the United Way are erecting a temporary warming center for the cities homeless. The warming center will be ready Friday morning and located near Mills Street and Riverview Drive on a city owned parcel with a capacity to hold approximen60.

“Through collaboration with our community partners, including the United Way and the Kalamazoo County Continuum of Care, we were able to act quickly and stand up this temporary warming shelter to help keep these vulnerable members of our community safe and warm during these sub-zero temperatures,” City Manager Jim Ritsema said in a statement. “We are incredibly thankful that our partners and local volunteers stepped up to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our community.”

Unhoused individuals and families in Kalamazoo have been on the rise since a low count of 2403 reported in 2017. According to a report done in Kalamazoo by Continuum of Care, the average age of o homeless person in Kalamazoo is 28.  61% of those that are literally homeless are female, 38% are male, and 1% are transgender men and women or nonbinary. Large racial disparities exist within the CoC. The black/African American population in the county overall is 11%, but accounts for 64% of those facing literal homelessness.

The city of Kalamazoo is not the only group recognizing a need to shelter the homeless this bitter cold week. Here are a few others offering hope and help.

*Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, 448 N. Burdick St.

*Ministry with Community, 500 N. Edwards St.

*Integrated Services of Kalamazoo is now operating 25 rooms at the former Knights Inn, 1211 S. Westnedge Ave.

*The River Church, 517 Walbridge St.,

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