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City Facilities Offer Warming Shelters to Public

The city of Joplin wanted to make sure people out during the day had some place to go to escape the cold.

JOPLIN, MO-It's cold....really cold.

With temperatures around zero today, some city facilities opened up their doors to the community to provide shelter from the cold

"We are in Southwest Missouri, so were not necessarily use to having negative temperatures," said Debbie Markman, Housing and Development Director in Joplin.

She says the key to beating the cold weather is safety.  Having city buildings open to the public during the day can provide a safe environment.  Even if it is only for a few minutes. 

"We always want our citizens within the area to always be safe.  And I think that's where our community always has an obligation to have facilities open," Markman said.

The American Red Cross on 4th St. had a warming shelter available for anyone who was outside and didn't have a place to stay.  A representative said it is dangerous to be exposed to these elements for a long time.

"Frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes in this type of weather," said Thomas Zeller, American Red Cross Volunteer.  "We feel it is necessary to try and alleviate some of the burden that these individuals have by offering a warming center."

They say by providing warming shelter assistance is just one way "neighbors are looking out for neighbors."

"Basically we want to help protect life and give them a place where they can get out of the elements," said Zeller.

"We just want to make sure that people know that we have space available here just to get them in a warm environment to warm up," said Markman.

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