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Max Luther Recreation Center in Huntsville converts to warming station for homeless

HUNTSVILLE – Huntsville officials said the Max Luther Recreation Center has been converted into a temporary warming shelter for the homeless. In a statement issued Wednesday morning, they said a partnership with area non-profit community agencies has enabled the city to offer some relief for the homeless during this week’s frigid weather.

Parks & Recreation and Public Works crews have converted the recreation center on Max Luther Drive into a warming station. Huntsville Police and Public Transit are providing transportation to the facility for anyone who needs to get out of the cold. Supplies, sleeping cots, meals and volunteers are being coordinated by the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (NACH), First Stop, Church of the Nativity, and Grateful Life Church. About 20 individuals used the facility Tuesday night.

“This has been an extraordinary team effort,” said Scott Erwin, Community Development Manager for the City of Huntsville. “Many any of the traditional warming shelters are unavailable because of the pandemic. We saw a critical need this week and are grateful to our community partners for helping us provide a warm, safe space for those in need.”

The Max Luther Center will be adhering to COVID-19 protocols including masking, 6-foot separation, and an abundance of sanitizers. In addition, a person’s temperature will be taken upon entry and must be below 100.4. If someone arrives with a temperature above the limit NACH will provide a hotel voucher for the night and seek to get them tested.

The emergency warming center will be available this week when the forecast is predicted to be 32 degrees or below for a 24-hour period. The Max Luther Center can accommodate up to 54 people overnight. Additional space is available at The Salvation Army and Downtown Rescue Mission.

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