GARY - The city of Gary is activating its warming centers with the upcoming cold weather that's moving into the area, once the outside temperature drops to 32 degrees and below.
Michael Gonzalez, Director of Communications for the city of Gary says several Gary city employees worked together to provide the needed service even with the new challenges this year.
"Really the first big test is this weekend, this week rather, just in time for Christmas, we'll have rain on Wednesday and then frigid temperatures Thursday and Friday, so we need to provide a place for people to get out of the cold for a few hours and be able to be safe. The challenge this year is as everybody knows is of course, COVID-19," Gonzalez says.
Anyone is welcome to use the warming centers but they'll have to agree to a COVID-19 test on-site. If the test result is negative, they will have to fill out some paperwork and they'll be assigned a spot and they'll be given a bag of essentials including hygiene items.
"Unfortunately there's no way to really accommodate anybody that tests positive except that they'll be offered a ride to a quarantined site that I believe is in Valparaiso," Gonzalez says. "It's at the old Country Inn and Suites I believe it is, but that's in Valparaiso. They can choose not to do that. This is all really quite a matter of choice."
Anyone who wants to find out the locations and hours of the warming centers can go to gary.gov or to the city of Gary's Facebook page, Re-imagine Gary. Anyone who lives in Gary can also go to the city's public access television station. Anyone who needs location information or needs transportation to the warming center can call (219) 660-0000.