With arctic blast nearing Southern New England, more warming centers open

A person is seen wrapped with a blanket while walking in Providence. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — With the arctic blast nearing Southern New England, more warming centers are opening.

The Dioceses of Providence opened Emmanuel House Homeless Shelter as a warming center in the capital city.

Emmanuel House is a ministry of the Diocese of Providence funded by the Catholic Charity Appeal.

Bishop Thomas Tobin’s “Keep the Heat On” emergency heating assistance hotline will open Friday through the cold front. The hotline’s number is 401-421-7833 ext. 207.

According to the Diocese of Providence, “Keep the Heat On” has provided heating and utility bill, helping more than 17,000 Rhode Island households for about 20 years to the tune of over $4 million.

Also Friday, the YMCA Southcoast announced that it’s offering warming stations over the next two days.

Debbie Fringuelli, a spokesperson for the YMCA Southcoast, said the warming stations are are available in the lobbies of five YMCA branches: Wareham, New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fall River, and Swansea.

The stations open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

“Service to all is part of the YMCA’s mission and we strive to step in to help whenever we can,” said Jim Scherer, president and CEO of YMCA Southcoast.

In Fall River, Mayor Coogan announced the opening of warming centers, like the Timeo Center.

On Saturday, Christ the Rock Church will be open from 7am-4pm for a warming center.

The First Step Inn will also be open for overnight guests looking to escape the cold, and people seeking out that service should call 508-679-8001 or 508-974-9972 to reserve a spot.

There is a 24 hour hotline for shelter needs that anyone is urged to call if necessary. The hotline’s number is 508-676-3528.

The Mayor office will also be answering calls from those who need help at 508-324-2600.

In Cranston, they are having an emergency overnight warming center at 1070 Cranston Street that can hold over 100 people.

There will also be daily warming shelters within the libraries throughout the city.

Mayor Hopkins office urge those seeking transportation to the overnight shelter to call Cranston Police or Fire for help.

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