Emergency winter resources available for residents as city prepares for snowfall, extreme cold

  • Three warming centers are open to offer Detroit residents break from frigid temps
  • City departments to mobilize emergency resources for residents faced with housing emergencies, such as lack of heat or homelessness
  • Full list of warming centers can be found below


Emergency winter resources are available for residents as the City of Detroit prepares for heavy snowfall and extreme cold temperatures this weekend, including warming centers and transportation for those experiencing homelessness, rapid response resources for residents in a housing crisis such as lack of heat, and other cold-weather resources and information for residents to help them to stay safe this winter.

The services and resources are provided through a collaborative effort between the Detroit Health Department, Housing and Revitalization Department, Homeland Security & Emergency Management and the Buildings Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED).

“As temperatures drop, we want to make sure we are prepared to address any and all problems that we face as a city each winter,” said Arthur Jemison, Chief of Services and Infrastructure. “Whether it’s providing shelter to those experiencing homelessness, addressing buildings without heat or even protecting our pets in the cold, we are prepared to ensure all Detroiters have a safe winter season.”

City ready to assist residents experiencing homelessness in cold temperatures

The City, in partnership with its contractors, the faith-based community and community organizations, will expand the outreach to homeless individuals and families this weekend by providing information on warming centers, shelters and transportation.

For emergencies, if you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness and needs shelter during this period of cold weather, contact the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries at (313) 999-1972 for emergency shelter and transportation. Emergency transportation will be available on Saturday, January 19 from 6 p.m. to midnight and Sunday, January 20 from 6 p.m. to midnight.

For all other residents looking to avoid the cold temperatures, the city has opened three warming centers, in conjunction with two local nonprofit homeless service providers. The City of Detroit is contracting with Cass Community Social Services and Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (two locations) to provide temporary relief to persons who are homeless when year-round shelters may be at capacity.

Detroit utilizes a coordinated entry process to access to shelters and warming centers. This means those seeking shelter or warming center placements should visit the appropriate Access Point to meet with a staff member to explore available shelter options.

A complete list of warming center locations can be found further below.

Rapid Response Team on stand-by for cold-weather related housing emergencies

New this year is a rapid response team, comprised of Detroit Health Department staff and community health workers. This team will be standing by this weekend to support the Buildings Safety Engineering and Environmental Department in emergency housing situations. If, for example, a multi-unit apartment building does not have heat, BSEED will work with the building owner to restore the heat. If this is not successful, the rapid response team, will assist with temporary housing for those residents who may need it. The team also can engage social service agencies and other city departments as needed, such as DDOT to transport families or the Fire Department to be on hand for any potential medical emergencies.

If you or someone you know are tenants and are suffering from no heat in your home, please call BSEED at (313) 628-2451 and press option 1 to report your issue. If you think someone is suffering from extreme cold, call 911.

“In situations like these, we want Detroiters to know that their city government will be there for them to provide whatever assistance is needed to get them safely through their situation,” Jemison said.

Health Department tips to stay safe this winter

The Detroit Health Department recommends that residents prepare to stay warm when temperatures fall below freezing (32 degrees). If residents must go outside, the Health Department urges them to remember to wear multiple layers of loose fitting clothing including a winter coat, hat, scarf, mittens and warm boots to reduce the chances of frostbite. The Detroit Health Department is asking residents to stay hydrated and to remember to check on the most vulnerable including children, the elderly and the chronically ill.

It is important to know the risks of extremely cold temperatures as it can cause hypothermia. Hypothermia is when the body begins to lose heat faster than it can it can be produced. Hyperthermia is also dangerous because a person may not be aware of what’s happening. Warning signs of hypothermia include: shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion and slurred speech. Hyperthermia can also occur even at cool temperatures (above 40 degrees) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

Other tips for keeping safe in cold weather include:

  • Keep space heaters and candles at least 3 feet away from flammable materials such as curtains, furniture and clothing – as it can catch fire fast.
  • Do not use stoves or generators as a source of heat. They may cause fire or carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Check the carbon monoxide detector and make sure it’s working.
  • Do not leave your car running in a closed space such as a garage.
  • Dress appropriately for the winter while standing, waiting for bus. It may look a little silly, but moving your body may generate some heat.

Keeping pets safe too

Detroit Animal Care and Control and the Michigan Humane Society will provide free straw to pet owners to insulate the dog’s bedding and/or dog house, if they don’t have proper shelter for the animal. In addition, the Michigan Humane Society will provide other outreach resources for pet owners including dog houses.

Detroit Animal Care and Control (DACC) urges pet owners to keep their pets inside during cold weather. If the weather is too cold for a human, then it is too severe for a pet. If dogs are left outside, they should have a draft-free shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. Use a layer of straw or other bedding material to help insulate them against the cold. Keep your cats indoors, as they can freeze in cold weather without shelter. Never leave your pet in the car during cold weather. Also remember to wipe up antifreeze from vehicles as it is a deadly poison with a sweet taste that may attract pets. For more information, call Detroit Animal Care and Control at (313) 224-6356 or the Michigan Humane Society at (313) 872-3400.

Warming Center Information

For Families with Children & Unaccompanied Youth (age 18-24):

  • Southwest Solutions Housing Resource Center, 1600 Porter St., Detroit, Hours: Mon. - Fri. 11am - 7pm

For Singles Adults:

  • NSO Tumaini Center, 3430 3rd Ave., Mon-Fri., 11am – 7pm
  • NOAH Project, 23 E. Adams, Mon-Thurs, 10am – 4pm

For Veterans:

  • Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV), 4646 John R. Street on the 2nd Floor, Red Section, Mon.- Fri., 8am-4:30pm
  • Veterans Community Resource & Referral Center (VCRRC), 301 Piquette St., Sun. – Sun 8am – 8pm.


Staff at the access points will assist to explore alternatives to shelter or make shelter placement for the night. After hours or during weekends and holidays, those seeking shelter should present in person at one of the following warming center locations:


Cass Community Social Services|1534 Webb, Detroit 48206|313.883.2277

40 warming center beds for:

  • Families with children
  • Single women


Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries Genesis House 3|3840 Fairview, Detroit 48214|313.331.8990

45 warming center beds for:

  • Families with children
  • Single women


Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries 3rd Street|3535 Third Ave, Detroit 48201|313.993.6703

45 warming center beds for:

  • Single men ONLY

In addition, residents may visit any of the City’s recreation centers during regular hours of operation.

DETROIT RECREATION CENTERS Adams Butzel Center, 10500 Lyndon Monday - Friday 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Butzel Family, 7737 Kercheval Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.


Clemente Center, 2631 Bagley Monday - Friday 1 - 9 p.m.


Crowell Recreation Center, 16630 Lahser Road Monday – Friday 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.


Coleman A. Young Recreation Center, 2751 Robert Bradby Dr. Monday – Friday 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Farwell Recreation Center, 2711 E. Outer Drive Monday – Friday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.


Heilmann Center, 19601 Crusade Monday - Friday 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.


Kemeny Recreation Center, 2260 S. Fort St

Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Lasky Center, 13200 Fenelon Monday - Friday 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.


Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers Monday - Friday 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.


Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere Monday – Friday 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Williams Recreation Center, 8431 Rosa Parks Monday - Friday 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.