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Oct 08, 2023

Denver to open warming center ahead of cold weather forecast

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DENVER — The City and County of Denver announced Monday that it is planning to open a 24-hour warming center at the Denver Coliseum beginning Wednesday, as an arctic cold front is forecast to hit Denver later this week.

The 24-hour warming center at the Denver Coliseum, located at 4600 Humboldt St., will be open for anyone who needs a warm place to stay during the storm beginning Wednesday.

The city said more information related to the Coliseum warming center will be available Tuesday.

In addition, the city said all of Denver's open libraries and recreation centers will be available during regular hours of operation as warming centers on Thursday and Friday. Recreation center hours and locations can be found online. Hours may change due to holidays.

Temperatures are forecast to be dangerously cold after a front bringing arctic air arrives in Denver on Wednesday evening. Extreme temperatures are dangerous, especially combined with other health conditions, and can lead to a higher risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning, the release says.

Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes. Skin can turn white or grayish-yellow and become firm or waxy. To warm the affected area, soak in warm water or use body heat. Don't massage or use a heating pad.

Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature accompanied by shivering, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head and groin. Keep dry and wrapped in warm blankets, including the head and neck. Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite and seek medical attention immediately.

The City and County encourages everyone to seek shelter and limit time outdoors beginning Wednesday evening.

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment offers these tips to prepare for extremely cold temperatures:

Severe weather poses a particularly serious danger to anyone spending an extended period of time outside, including people experiencing homelessness who are unsheltered. The Department of Housing Stability and its partners are conducting outreach to unhoused residents.

The new temporary warming shelter comes after the city began using two Denver rec centers as emergency shelters for hundreds of migrants who have arrived in the city over the past few weeks. The city declared a state of emergency in hopes of getting more resources to help an already overwhelmed effort.

The city has spent about $800,000 since the activation of the emergency operations center last week.

As of noon on Monday, another 134 people arrived overnight, bringing the total number of migrants served by the city since Dec. 9 to 1,146. The number of migrants currently sheltered in city emergency shelters is 408, and the number of migrants currently sheltered in partner emergency shelters is 153.

The City and County of Denver has an urgent need for short-term shelter assistants to support people coming to Denver from Central and South America. All positions are on-call and may have routine or variable work schedules. Positions work a minimum of 24 hours and up to 39 hours weekly. Bilingual/Spanish skills are needed, but not required. People interested in applying can visit their website.

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