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Columbia warming centers and shelters open as temperatures drop

The Columbia and Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department reminded residents on Thursday that there is a network of warming and cooling centers in the community.

Warming centers are available to the general public during the building’s normal business hours.

Some of those warming centers include:

-The Activity and Recreation Center

-Armory Sports and Community Center

-The Public Health and Human Services Department

-Columbia Mall

-Salvation Army

Some of Columbia’s shelters include:

-New Life Evangelistic Center (for men)

-Rainbow House (for children)

-Salvation Army Harbor House

-Welcome Home (for veterans)

-Room at the Inn (locations vary, click here for more information)

Officials with the Health Department also warn individuals to be mindful of their body. Officials said individuals should not ignore shivering, it’s a sign of the body losing heat.

If you plan to be outside, be sure to not only dress warm, but keep dry.

Hypothermia can happen quickly. Signs include confusion, drowsiness and exhaustion.

The Department also said residents should check on family, friends and neighbors that can be at risk for cold-related injuries or illness.

Additionally, the Division of Human Services administers two utility assistance lottery programs for qualified Boone County residents. HELP provides one-time utility assistance to low-income families with young children in the home and CASH, which provides utility assistance to low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities.

For a map of the warming centers and shelter locations, click here.

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