Warming centers and shelters open in Columbia

Nov 7, 2013

Photo by Homemade Honeybird via Flickr.

Warming centers and shelters have now opened in Columbia, according to the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services. It has 14 buildings hosting people during winter months. Representatives said 8 of those buildings are warming centers open during business hours.

·         ARC (Activity and Recreation Center) at 1707 West Ash Street

·         Armory Sports and Community Center at 701 East Ash Street

·         Boone County Government Center at 801 East Walnut

·         Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health & Human Services at 1005 West Worley

·         Columbia Public Library at 100 West Broadway

·         Salvation Army at 1108 West Ash Street

·         Salvation Army Harbor House at 602 North Ann     

·         St. Francis House at 901 Rangeline


The remaining 6 buildings serve as shelters where people can spend the night out of the cold.

·         New Life Evangelistic Center (for men) at 901 Wilkes Blvd

·         Rainbow House (for children/youth) at 1611 Towne Dr.

·         Salvation Army Harbor House at 602 North Ann

·         St. Francis House (for men) at 901 Rangeline

·         True North (for victims of domestic violence)

·         Welcome Home (for veterans) at 1206 Rangeline


Public Information Officer for the Department of Health, Andrea Waner, said the buildings are chosen for both location and capacity of hosting.

“We want to make sure that they are centrally located and easily accessible for a variety of our citizens in Columbia and Boone County,” Waner said.

She also said the warming centers are available to the general public.

“With the warming centers, such as the ARC, you could just walk in,” Waner said. “And you don’t have to say that you are here to utilize the warming center.”

St Francis House is one of the shelters welcoming men this winter. The building has 14 beds available and has welcomed people year-round for over 30 years. Steve Jacobs, an advocate and a member of St Francis House community, said most of people are staying for a long period.

“About a third of the people stay here short term, and come and go. But we have some people that have been here for years,” Jacobs said.

Another shelter, Salvation Army Harbor House, has 61 beds and organizers say they served over 27 thousand meals and provided 16 thousand lodging nights last year.

For more information, visit http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/Public_Comm/Public_Information/Press_Releases/view.php?id=1771