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Denver activates warming centers during freezing temperatures

With sub-zero temperatures, resources are being activated to assist people experiencing homelessness.

DENVER — The City of Denver has activated a warming center at the McNichols Civic Center Building located at 144 W. Colfax Ave. 

According to a statement, the McNichols building will be open as a 24-hour warming center from Saturday night through Wednesday morning.

People may also access shelter through the city's "front door" access points for shelter. 

In addition, Denver recreation centers and Denver Public Library branches will be open during regular business hours as a short-term place to warm up during the day. 

Near the McNichols Building on Sunday, a handful of tents with heaters and blankets sat in front of the city and county building covered in snow. They were set up by a group called Mutual Aid Monday, which usually serves food at the location on Mondays. 

They set up tents for people experiencing homelessness who don’t want to go to shelters or couldn’t get in because of stricter rules.

"Some people have pets. Other people have more belongings than they’re allowed to bring into the facility," Charlie Hindman with Mutual Aid Monday said. "Some folks may have addictions and need to address those addictions. There’s a variety of reasons. We just want people to have a place to lie down and feel safe. No judgment at all. We think that regardless people deserve a place to sleep and some food."

In the past, Denver has opened the Coliseum and other rec centers overnight to accommodate anyone who needed a warm place to spend the night. Sunday, 9NEWS reached out to the city to hear more about their plans, but did not hear back.  

In Lakewood, St. Bernadette Catholic Parish at 7240 W. 12th Ave. will be open from 7 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday for overnight emergency sheltering, the city said.

The Severe Weather Shelter Network used frequently in Lakewood is also open and will continue to be open, potentially through Monday and Tuesday, the city said.


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