BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – As Western New York deals with dangerously cold wind chills, nine senior centers and community centers in Buffalo have opened their doors as warming shelters.
The Schiller Park Senior Center, for example, is open for any community member who needs to get out of the cold between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Cheryl Buttino, director of Senior Services for Schiller Park Community Services, told News 4 the Senior Center was only expecting a handful of people to take advantage of the warming shelter Friday. But, it’s an important resource for anyone who needs it.
“Anyone in the neighborhood that feels that they need to come in and stay warm, we will welcome them,” Buttino said. “We have hot coffee and tea to keep them warm. We also have some transportation available today.”
Those who go to the Schiller Park Senior Center today can enjoy some of the daily programming offered to seniors there. Or, they can simply enjoy a relaxing day in the warmth.
Not everyone is able to stay warm in these weather conditions, even in their own homes.
“We certainly don’t want any of the seniors to be sitting at home in their cold house if they have a heating issue of if there’s any other concerns with them being in the house by themselves,” Buttino said.
The Schiller Park Community Services case managers have been reminded to check on any clients who may need some help today, but everyone is asked to keep an eye out for their all of their neighbors to make sure everyone stays safe.
“There really are a lot of people that are out on the streets during the day and we don’t want them staying out there in the freezing cold so it’s important that they come in and have some place warm to be, where they can warm up and go on with their day if that’s what they want to do,” Buttino said.
The following locations have opened as warming shelters in the city of Buffalo:
- The Dorothy J. Collier Community Center, 118 East Utica Street, Buffalo, N.Y 14209 Hours: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
- The Old First Ward Community Center, 62 Republic Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14204 Hours: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday thru Friday.
- North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Saunders Road, Buffalo, N.Y. 14216 Hours: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm – Monday thru Friday, Saturday 10:00am to 5:00 pm, Sunday, only if needed.
- William – Emslie Family YMCA, 585 William Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 13206, Hours: 6:00am to 5:00 pm Monday thru Friday.
- West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont Street, Buffalo, N.Y. Hours: 8:00am to 8:00pm. Monday thru Friday.
- Schiller Park Senior Center, 2057 Genesee Street, Buffalo, New York 14211 Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm. Monday thru Friday.
- The Belle Center, 104 Maryland Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14201 Hours: 6:30am to 8:30pm. Monday thru Friday.
- Richmond-Summer Senior Center, 337 Summer Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14222 Hours: 8:00am to 3:00pm. Monday thru Friday.
- Autumnwood Senior Center, 1800 Clinton Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14206 Hours: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.
Buffalo residents can call 3-1-1 for help finding their nearest warming center location.
There are also several warming centers open in Niagara Falls.
Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, 1590 Buffalo Avenue, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to those community members without a place to stay.
- Heart, Love & Soul – 939 Ontario Ave. – 282-5687 – 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; Open Last two Saturdays each month; Closed Sundays
- John Duke Center – 1201 Hyde Park Blvd. – 297-9324 – M-F 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Th – 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Closed Weekends
- Niagara Falls Public Library – Main St. Branch – 1425 Main St. – 286-4894 – M-W 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Th-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Closed Sunday
- Niagara Falls Public Library – LaSalle Branch – 8728 Buffalo Ave. – 283-8309 – M-W 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Th-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Closed Sunday
- Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission – 1317 Portage Ave. – 205-8805 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Daily
Niagara Falls Overnight Shelters
- Community Missions – 1570 Buffalo Ave. – 285-3403 (Men, Women & Children)
- Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission – 1317 Portage Ave. – 205-8805 (Men only overnight)
As part of Operation Code Blue, Niagara Falls residents in need of shelter or know someone in need are encouraged to reach out to Niagara Falls Police to obtain shelter.