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Cold Weather Advisory: City of Worcester Offers Safety Tips; Warming Centers to Open

For Immediate Release: 1/13/2022 6:40 pm

Extremely cold temperatures are expected in the region this weekend. The City will provide outreach to homeless individuals who may be particularly vulnerable to the harsh weather conditions.

In addition to local shelters being open to the homeless population throughout the day, warming centers for all individuals will be available at the following locations:

  • Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square: Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • YWCA, 1 Salem Square: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Be prepared for the cold weather by following these safety tips throughout the winter season:

  • Dress in layers and stay dry
  • Avoid outdoor exposure for extended periods and cover exposed skin
  • Watch for frostbite which can develop in under a minute in extreme cold
  • Keep pets indoors and check paws for signs of injury/damage
  • Stay hydrated, fuel your body and take breaks during outdoor activities, such as shoveling
  • Protect pipes and shovel around vents to prevent carbon monoxide build-up. For tips to prevent frozen pipes contact the DPW&P Customer Service Center at 508-929-1300 or visit www.worcesterma.gov/water-sewer.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for heating your house with a space heater. Keep 3 feet of space around the space heater, and use a dedicated outlet
  • Dry your clothes at a lower temperature when drying heavy loads to guard against accidental fires.
  • Check on neighbors and elders often
  • Keep an emergency supply kit in your car

The City of Worcester’s Homeless Outreach Team and Quality of Life Team will connect members of the homeless community with shelter, treatment or hospital services, depending on need, as

part of a focus on harm reduction. The team will also distribute hats, gloves, scarves, shoes and clothing to those exposed to the elements.

Homeless individuals seeking shelter from the cold may access the SMOC shelter at 25 Queen St. Hotel Grace, an emergency shelter with 60 beds located at, 44 Vernon St., is open through May 2022, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with funding through the Office of City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., and is available as space allows. Harbor will also serve as a warming center for individuals who identify as women as beds are available, and can be reached at 508-556-6101.

More winter weather safety/preparation tips are available at: www.ready.gov/winter-weather. Residents are also encouraged to sign-up for ALERTWorcester and Smart911 to stay informed and be prepared in case of an emergency.

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