Salvation Army provides warmth in dangerously cold temps


These bitter cold temperatures can cause frostbite, hypothermia and even death. So it's important to keep stay warm and keep out of the wind, but not everyone in Minnesota has a warm place to call home.

That's why when temperatures dip below zero, the Salvation Army opens its doors to the homeless.

Julie Borgen tells BringMeTheNews there are several locations in the Twin Cities area people can go to warm up. Their Harbor Light Center in downtown Minneapolis will be open all day and night as an effort to keep people safe.

They'll have 50 extra spaces available for men to sleep in their Harbor Light chapel as well as 50 beds for men and women at The First Covenant Church in Minneapolis. But Borgen says the number of beds doesn't matter because they won't be turning anyone away in these cold temperatures.

If necessary, she says they'll find more places – like chairs – for people to sleep.

Temperatures are supposed to climb above zero degrees this week, but Borgen tells BringMeTheNews she anticipates they'll at least keep the Twin Cities locations open through the rest of the week.

The Salvation Army is also working to collect winter gear so people can stay warm when they're outside.

These Salvation Army locations let people warm up Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • 2024 Lyndal Ave. N., Minneapolis
  • 2727 Central Ave., Minneapolis
  • 1604 East Lake Street, Minneapolis – free meal at noon
  • 1019 Payne Ave., St. Paul – free meal at noon
  • 401 W. 7th Street, St. Paul – free breakfast at 7:30 a.m.
  • 10011 Noble Pkwy., Brooklyn Park
  • 10347 Ibis St. NW, Coon Rapids – free meal at 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays

Other locations throughout the state also open warming centers when temperatures get bitter cold.

You can find a location near you here. 

The Salvation Army says they serve about 186,000 people in the Twin Cities area every year.

Dangerously cold

With negative temperatures and a bitter wind, it can take minutes to get frostbite. The National Weather Service has a chart showing about how long it takes depending on temperature and wind.

And frostbite isn't something to shrug your shoulders about. It can result in permanent tissue damage or amputation.

The Mayo Clinic says it's most likely to occur on a person's fingers, toes, cheeks, ears, nose and chin. It starts with cold skin then progresses to numbness, hard or waxy-looking skin and possibly blisters after rewarming.

According to the Hennepin County Medical Center, more than 200 people had to be hospitalized in 2014 due to frostbite.

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