An emergency warming center opens its doors in Carbondale this week, although not in the location originally intended.
The warming center, which is anticipated to house up to 24 people, now will be located at 705 E. College St. The center will operate from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. through April 1. The center will provide warm sleeping space for people who are homeless in Carbondale, rather than offering region-wide service.
The center will be professionally staffed by paid employees as well as unpaid volunteers.
Last week, the city council voted to grant a zoning certificate for the project to allow two temporary, modular units to be erected at 800 E. Main St. -- between Hunan and the Wright Shopping Center on Rt. 13 -- through the duration of the cold months. The proposal ran into objections from some residents and nearby business owners, who say they already face issues with panhandlers bothering their customers and staff.
The council voted 5-2 to approve the zoning certificate, but announced three days later that the location was being moved.
The project is the result of a partnership among organizations including the Carbondale Interfaith Council, the Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless, the Good Samaritan House, the Sparrow Coalition, the Carbondale Public Library, Centerstone, the Jackson County Health Department, the SIU Clinical Center and the city of Carbondale.