Warming center opens in Kokomo ahead of frigid temperatures

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KOKOMO, Ind.- The Kokomo Rescue Mission extended its dining room hours and it will serve as a warming station ahead of cold temperatures expected this weekend.

Starting Friday, the facility will remain open between 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. until Tuesday. On Tuesday, executive director Van Taylor said they will reevaluate their extended hours to determine if they should keep those hours for a couple more days.

“The game plan is to get them indoors. (We want to) keep them warm and keep them there as long as possible,” Taylor said.

People will be served warm drinks and will have an opportunity to play games in order to stay out of the frigid temperatures.  Before people leave the warming station, they can take with them gloves, a hat, a sweatshirt or a scarf. Taylor said they want to make sure people are covered when they are outside.

“This is critical to have them warm and to keep people warm, you know, a hat and gloves are cheap compared to an emergency room visit with frost bite or hypothermia,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he is concerned they will run out of supplies. The gloves, hats, scarfs and coats are donated to the Kokomo Rescue Mission. He said it started getting cold earlier this season than usual and they are worried they may not have enough accessories for people.

Anyone is welcome to visit the warming station.

“We’re a faith-based group and so we believe there’s more to just putting on clothes. We believe there’s also warming the heart and warming the spiriting (and giving) people hope, which lasts not just for a season, but lasts for eternity,” Taylor said.