City of Birmingham plans to keep warming stations open through cold snap

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Birmingham has announced a plan to keep its warming station open through Wednesday, Jan 3, according to a release from the Mayor’s Office.

The warming station at the BJCC South Hall which opened on Christmas will remain open throughout the entire day on Jan. 2, but the next day the warming station will move to the Boutwell Auditorium.

Though the station remains open throughout the day for Jan 2, it will close the morning of Jan. 3 before reopening that evening at 5 p.m.

The warming station is still asking for donations of scarves, gloves, and knit caps in addition to food, according to the release.

Don Lupo, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Citizen’s Assistance, estimated 400 people spent the night at the BJCC Monday night. People in need say they had no other options and are grateful for the response from the community.

“It’s a blessing. A real blessing, when you’re out there in the cold and you’ve got nowhere to go, and you done lost everything you had, god open doors,” said Anna Cunningham, who was inside escaping the cold.

Lupo told CBS 42 they will continue to need food donations and volunteers to help serve when they move to the Boutwell Auditorium Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.

“Bring your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bring your chili, bring your soup,” Lupo said.

Lupo added that toiletries are needed, but in travel size for people on the go during the day.

“We need chapstick, we need any kind of lotion, body lotion, foot lotion, moisturizer, anything that will moisturize. Because when you’re out in the elements, it’s cold. You need to be moisturized,” said Lupo.

Volunteers of all ages are already hard at work helping. Devin Pickens, 12, and her mother, Alexis came to bring warm clothes for the women.

“I just wanted to make the people happy that they know there’s somebody willing to care for them and help them out,” said Devin Pickens.

Pickens’, mother Alexis said she wanted her daughter to learn the importance of giving back to those in need.

“They could have lost everything in a fire or lost their job and things just turn for them, so I just want to make sure she stays humble and she kind of, you know, gives back when she gets older as well,” said Alexis Pickens.

Donations can be made after 5 p.m. at the Boutwell Auditorium on Jan. 3.

For more information, contact Don Lupo at 335-4573.

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