Lansing State Journal

LANSING — The city is opening a new overnight family warming center this winter.

Nov. 27 is the anticipated opening date for the Letts Family Warming Center, 1220 W. Kalamazoo St. Hours will be 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., seven days a week.

The center will remain open through April 30 and promises to be the first of its kind for Lansing families, according to the city’s Friday statement announcing the opening.

There is a gap between the number of unsheltered families and the number of shelters, said Kimberly Coleman, director of Human Relations and Community Services Department, in an email.

“It is our hope to fill that gap by providing a safety net for these families,” she said.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries will operate and manage the nighttime warming center, which will be funded through an $800,000 allocation in the state budget for the city to establish such a shelter, according to the city.

The organization won a bid for proposals and operates several shelters, warming centers and facilities in Michigan.

“Keeping families together and sheltered during the cold winter months has to be a priority for Lansing,” said Coleman in the city’s statement. “We have had conversations with the school district and know that there is an incredible need out there right now.

“Our intent is to use the lessons learned this year to better serve our community in the future.”

The shelter will have a capacity of 75, she said, but during severe cold weather emergencies, deemed “Code Blue” by the city, the shelter’s capacity will be increased so it can accept seniors and individuals with disabilities.

During extremely cold times, there can be dozens of warming centers available in the Greater Lansing area, with libraries and churches and malls being among the places welcoming people to warm up.

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