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Duluth to open warming center on nights below 32 degrees

DULUTH, MN -- Duluth leaders have announced plans to keep the city's homeless population out of the cold this winter.

On Thursday, city, county, and CHUM leaders said they will open City Center West at 58th Avenue West and Grand Avenue as an emergency warming center on any night that temperatures dip below 32 degrees.

The organizations said they're prepared to begin operating after November 4.

The warming center will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

City officials say they are prepared to serve as many people as needed between the City Center West location and CHUM's shelter.

"Having a warm place to go during the winter is always critical, and never more so than now during a pandemic," Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said.

They added that there will be strict cleaning measures in place at both locations. City spokespeople say they're also considering additional locations to help meet social distancing guidelines if needed.

The temperature threshold for opening the warming center is higher than in years past.

In 2019, when the center was located at Gloria Dei church and the Harmony Club, it opened when nighttime lows reached 20 degrees or below.

In 2018, when the warming center began as a pilot project at City Center West, the threshold for opening was zero degrees.

Briggs LeSavage

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