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Warming Center Open Earlier Than Usual

December 4, 2012, 5:48 AM by Kellee Azar
Updated: December 4, 2012, 9:43 AM

Warming Center Open Earlier Than Usual
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The Salvation Army is helping people who need a warm night's sleep by offering a place to lay their head at night.  And this year, the warming center is open earlier than before.

"We are happy to be open to provide the service.  We are sad that we have to provide the service. So it's one of those catch-22 things. But we are glad that people are using the facility and glad that they feel comfortable in being able to be here," Major Thomas Riggs of the Salvation Army said.

And this year, the warming center is even more prepared for people looking for a place to stay thanks to one local business.

"Due to the generosity one of our local law firms, we were able to purchase 40 brand new cots," Riggs said.

They're beds that are available nearly a month and a half earlier than last year.

"We opened up our warming site because we wanted people to be safe and get out of the cold and a place they could sleep," Riggs said.

Even with warmer-than-usual temperatures, the Salvation Army will keep its doors open at night.

"It’s growing, because it has been fairly warm.  People have been staying in their cars or wherever else they have been staying. But word is getting out.  We had 12 people last night but we just anticipate it to continue to grow," Riggs said.

And when more people do find out, the Salvation Army will make room.

"I'm confident we will be full and we will pull out some more cots if we need more space. We have more things available if we get 40 or more," Riggs said. 

The warming center is now open every night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.  People who choose to stay there get a cot, blanket and pillow.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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