City of Fresno to open warming center

FRESNO, Calif.

The Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center, located on the 760 Mayor Avenue will open at 8 p.m. Tuesday and stay open until 7 a.m. on Wednesday. The city says it will be continue to be a warming center until further notice.

City buses will provide free rides on the Route 34 bus.

"We never know how many people will take advantage of this," Councilman Oliver Baines said. "we put it close to a bus line . The 34 bus line runs right through it - right through the front gates of the ball center - so we certainly hope people will take advantage of it."

An average of four to five people used the warming centers on the nights they were opened last year, according to Michael Lukens, the city's spokesman.

The Fresno Rescue Mission also plans to open its doors Tuesday night because of the low temperatures. The Mission offers a safe, overnight haven from the cold when temperatures drop or approach 35 degrees, which it is forecasted to do Tuesday night.

Chaplain Jay Carroll admits not everyone takes advantage of the offer. For whatever reason, some choose the streets or the shelter, despite the dangerously low temperatures.

""It's very risky and yet we have elderly women that like to sleep on the sidewalk," he said.

Carroll says the shelter saw many faces last winter and because of the city's recent clean-up of homeless camps, he expects to see more this year.

"Considerably more," the chaplain said. "They don't have a place to stay. They won't have a place at night so they can come in here and be warm and be safe."

Employees at the Poverello House who work with those in need, say they do not offer a public overnight place to stay. They usually direct their clients to city run shelters like warming center at Frank H. Ball.

City officials say if anyone has Questions regarding the warming center or transportation concerns, they can contact the City's One Call Center at (559) 621-CITY (2489).

The warming center will be open from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. City buses will provide free transportation to and from the center on the route 34 bus. The route for the bus is available here:

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