By Melissa Rohman
Now that the weather becomes frightful and the temperature has steadily dropped, five warming centers are open in Berwyn and are welcoming residents and the homeless to come in and escape the freezing cold.
According to the Cook County government, over thirty warming centers are now open across the city of Chicago for the winter season. Those who need a safe place to get warm from the freezing temperatures are encouraged to step inside these centers.
Chicagoans who are seeking a shelter should contact the warming center first to verify that it’s open. In Berwyn, the following public spaces in Berwyn are designated open warming centers for the 2016-2017 winter season, according to the Cook County Homeland Security and Emergency Management website:
- Berwyn Public Library, 2701 S. Harlem Ave.
- Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Contact: (708) 788-2660. For after-hours phone calls, call (708) 795-5600 (police).
- Berwyn Police Department, 6401 W. 31st St.
- Hours: 24/7
- Contact: (708) 788-2660. For after-hours phone calls, call (708) 795-5600.
- Berwyn Recreational Center, 6501 W. 31st St.
- Hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Contact: (708) 788-2010
- Berwyn Township’s Freedom Park Office, 3701 Scolville Ave.
- Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Contact: (708) 788-1701
Deputy Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Natalia Derevyanny stresses the importance of keeping warm and keeping safe this winter season.
“We just really want to encourage people to get warm as safely as possible. Especially for residents who are using space heaters, we want to encourage them to turn them off once they leave the room and if they have children or pets to be extra vigilant,” Derevyanny said.
When warming centers that are not open 24/7 close, the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management advises the homeless to go to shelters such as P.A.D.S. in Chicago Heights, Oaklawn, and other south suburban Chicago locations.