Temporary warming center opens in Chico

The temporary warming shelter at Depot Park in Chico.

After Tuesday night's Chico City Council meeting, city officials decided to create a temporary warming center, for displaced people, trying to escape the freezing temperatures.

The city wants to make clear that it is not an emergency shelter. There are no beds, food, or other related services. It is simply meant as an escape from cold weather.

It came together in just 16-hours, after Mayor Randall Stone's formal request, at the meeting. The tent structure measures 40-feet by 40-feet, and comes equipped with porta-potties and security guards, who will be there while the center's in use. Barely an hour after it opened, people were arriving, to escape the cold.

Ann Schwab, a member of the Chico City Council, explained the next steps for the center.

"We're still making some improvements. There'll be a floor in here tomorrow. We've got community members from Safe Space, who have rallied forth to lend assistance," Schwab said.

The city estimates that about 50 people will be able to fit inside the tent, comfortably. If more than 50 people arrive on Wednesday night, the city will put up a second tent on Thursday, allowing room for 100 people. Depot Park was chosen because of its central location, meaning people in Chico will not need transportation to get there.

The warming center will be open between 6:00 pm and 8:00 am, starting Wednesday night, until Monday morning.

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