Not everybody has a place to go when the temperatures dip below freezing.
And as a result, the City of Lathrop has adopted a policy that will open various civic institutions to the homeless during the day when an excessive cold spell rolls across the San Joaquin Valley.
According to a posting on the City of Lathrop’s website, a pair of daytime warming centers have been named as places that will accept those looking to get out of the cold in the event that the Governor declares a State of Emergency for cold-weather related reasons.
Currently there are no overnight warming centers planned for the community.
The Lathrop Community Center and the Lathrop Senior Center, both located in the city complex on 5th Street, have been named the two places that people can go when temperatures reach a critical point – a declaration that often comes from California’s Office of Emergency Services.
Manteca enacted a similar policy several years ago at the urging of homeless advocates in the community, but took it a step further by getting members of the Community Emergency Response Team to staff an overnight shelter at the Manteca Senior Center. While it wasn’t highly utilized, Manteca Police Chief Kirk Waters has drafted a plan that will allow for the volunteers to open the shelter if the conditions call for it – much the same way they do with cooling centers during summer heat spells.
Some Lathrop residents turned to social media earlier this month to inquire about whether the city could do something similar to what the City of Stockton did for the homeless population on Christmas Eve. A private business offered to house the homeless for the night and provided food, a shower and the comforts of the holidays that are not easily available to those who live on the street.