Warming centers in Connecticut prepare for freezing temperatures

Warming centers in Connecticut are preparing for an influx of people as temperatures drop.
Officials say there is a severe cold weather protocol in place until Monday.
The Alpha Community Services YMCA is the only overnight warming center in Bridgeport.
The location says its normal capacity is about 30 people, but when the governor enacts the severe weather protocol, the capacity goes up to over 45 people.
Vice president of the Bridgeport YMCA Carmen Colon says she expects that number to exceed 50 this weekend.
“We are going to go through a lot of food, we are going to be washing blankets every single day and towels,” Colon said.
She says it’s one of the few places that takes people in from other municipalities.
“We want to make sure that there’s no one out there in the cold that can actually pass away on us because no one will let them in,” Colon said. “So, we make sure that we open up our doors, and we’re here with social services to help the folks that come in.”
She says the center has social workers who work with the individuals who go in for shelter to make sure they can get them permanently housed.
Colon says in the long run, finding people permanent housing is less expensive than running the warming centers.
“A human being out in the cold whether they’re in Stratford, Bridgeport, Stamford, or Darien, it’s a human being that I want to make sure comes in from the cold and that we do everything that we can in our great city of Bridgeport to take care of them,” she said.
Colon is urging those who need help to dial 211 for resources.
A list of warming centers can be found by clicking here.