May Park warming center remains open for one last night

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 8:24 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta is opening its warming shelter for the homeless for one last night tonight.

It’s at the May Park Community Center.

It’s open from 6 p.m. today until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

You just need to be inside by 9 p.m.

City leaders say they are watching the weather to see if they need to keep it open longer.

It opened Thursday for people who need a warm place to sleep, in part as a result of efforts by some Augusta commissioners.

“It really, really helps us understand what our ‘why’ is. Why we care, why the task force was put together, why the commission invested in this. Because truth be told, folks are needing this service,” District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson said last week.

Johnson and Commissioner Dennis Williams head the city’s new task force to address homelessness. Opening a warming center was the first goal on the list.

“Folks all over the city, far and wide are able to take advantage of this service,” Johnson said.

COVID-19 restrictions cut the capacity of the center down to 40 people, and with 24-hour protection from the sheriff’s office, it serves as a refuge option.

The task force has bigger plans in store, too.

“The goal is to provide additional space for our homeless, and to establish a centralized homeless shelter,” Williams said.

They want to work toward a shelter with job training, baggage storage and mailboxes.

“If I was a homeless person, and I was looking for a job, I don’t have an address. How can I get a job? So, these are some of the things that we’re looking at,” Williams said.

The service at May Park is just one step toward solving a much bigger issue.

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