A warming station will open Friday in Dora to provide a comfortable environment for those in need when temperatures drop below freezing.Dora's City of Lights Dream Center will have 20 beds available …
A warming station will open Friday in Dora to provide a comfortable environment for those in need when temperatures drop below freezing.
Dora's City of Lights Dream Center will have 20 beds available to the public, and those staying at the warming station will also receive a hot meal and have access to warm showers.
The center is modeling their warming station after Boutwell Auditorium's in Birmingham, as well as the recently announced warming center at the Jasper Area Family Services Center. However, the dream center does require a bed reservation by calling (205) 255-6688.
Jamie Massey, founder and mentor of City of Lights Dream Center, said the free warming station is not only for the homeless but anyone needing to seek refuge when cold weather hits.
"It's not just the homeless. We have families that have no electricity in their homes," she said. "With it being that cold, we want to make sure it's for anybody that needs to get warm."
According to the National Weather Service, lows will be in the 20s Friday night and low 30s Saturday night. Temperatures will again drop below freezing into the 20s next week.
The warming station will open each time temperatures are below freezing for two or more consecutive nights.
Massey said there will be security at the warming station and volunteers to assist during operating hours, which will be from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. on designated open days. Women and children will have a separate rest area from men to provide an extra sense of security.
Area churches have provided food for the warming station, and the City of Dora donated blankets and pillows for people who stay to use. Massey said donations of sheets, toiletries or food items would also be appreciated to sustain the warming center.
"We've had a tremendous amount of wonderful volunteers. I can't say enough about the volunteers, but we can always use more. Anybody that wants to volunteer to help during the cold weather, we would love any assistance," Massey said.
The Walker County Coalition for the Homeless is a partner with the Dream Center for the warming station.
The City of Lights Dream Center's mission is to address addiction and poverty in Walker County, which is done through a number of programs. The center offers free daycare services to families in need, addiction recovery classes and more.
The facility is located at 23 Austin Circle Dr. in Dora. For information on all the services provided by the center or to inquire about volunteering, visit www.cityoflightsala.com.