AP NEWS

Stamford offers warming centers to combat intense cold

January 31, 2019

STAMFORD — With bitter cold temperatures in the single digits, the city of Stamford is urging residents to take advantage of available warming centers and stay safe during the extreme cold conditions.

Governor Ned Lamont activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, lasting through noon on Sunday, Feb. 3, as very cold temperatures and wind chills are anticipated to impact the state. The protocol directs staff from the relevant state agencies to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the severe cold.

“A brutally cold stretch of weather is expected to impact our state again in the coming days,” Lamont said, in a press release. “We need to spread the word to the most vulnerable in our communities that the conditions will become too dangerous to spend extended periods of time outdoors — shelters are available throughout the state.”

Ted Jankowski, director of Public Safety, Health & Welfare for the city of Stamford, urged everyone to take precautions and stay out of the cold weather during these extreme cold conditions.

“We have made arrangements with city and community facilities to ensure that there is designated refuge from the cold and we encourage residents to use these resources,” he said.

The following warming centers in Stamford are open all season, during these times and locations:

Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd., 1st floor lobby, daily until 9 p.m.

Building One Community, 75 Selleck St., daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Chester Addison Community Center, 245 Selleck St., Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Jewish Community Center, 1035 Newfield Ave., Monday to Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (must present photo ID)

Union Baptist Church, 805 Newfield Ave., Wednesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Inspirica, a Stamford-based provider of services to the homeless, provides an overnight warming center from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning at 8 Woodland Place, Stamford, any night that the governor declares State Cold Weather Protocols.

The Stamford Department of Health reminds all citizens to stay safe during extreme cold. Some tips include dressing warmly, and in layers, even if you are just making a short trip to the mailbox. When the wind chill brings the temperature well below zero, be sure to cover your skin. In extreme cold, skin exposed to the cold air can get frostbite in just a few minutes.

The elderly are especially susceptible to extremely cold temperatures. The city urges residents to check on elderly family, friends, or neighbors frequently.

The most up-to-date list of shelters and warming centers that are available throughout Connecticut can be found by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.211ct.org.

ignacio.laguarda@stamfordadvocate.com