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Monday, November 17, 2014

Illinois opens 100+ warming centers in state to help residents beat the bitter cold

PRESS RELEASE | Nov 17, 2014
State of Illinois

Governor Quinn opens 100+ warming centers to help residents beat the bitter cold
State agencies urge safety during cold temperatures

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn is urging people across Illinois to take advantage of the state’s warming centers as temperatures across the state continue to fall. The state has opened more than 100 warming centers across Illinois to provide shelter from the bitter cold.

The warming centers are located at Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offices throughout the state.  IDHS warming centers are open to the public during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

In addition to the IDHS warming centers, the Illinois Tollway Oases in the Chicago area are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department on Aging are also encouraging relatives and friends to make daily visits or calls to older adults living alone.
Older persons are more susceptible to the cold, so seniors should set their thermostats above 65 degrees. People who lower the thermostat to reduce heating bills risk developing hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition in which the body temperature drops dangerously low. Also at an increased risk are older people who take certain medications, drink alcohol, lack proper nutrition and who have conditions such as arthritis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson's disease.

The following are some tips that seniors are encouraged to do to best handle cold temps:
• Dress in layers, both indoors and outdoors. Keep active. Make a list of exercises and activities to do indoors when you can’t get out.
• Eat well and drink 10 glasses of water daily; Stock up on non-perishable food supplies, just in case.
• Keep extra medications in the house. If this is not possible, make arrangements to have someone pick up and deliver your medications.

To find a warming center near you, call the IDHS hotline at (800) 843-6154 or visit www.keepwarm.illinois.gov.


For City of Chicago warming centers;

City Warming Centers

Weathering the Winter

Keep Warm and Safe This Winter Season

Bitter cold temperatures are more than an inconvenience; they pose a serious threat to health and safety. The City of Chicago has many services available to help residents weather the winter months.
Call 3-1-1 to:
  • Locate a Warming Center near you
  • Request a well-being check for someone who may be suffering from extreme weather
  • Report inadequate heat in a residential building
  • Learn about programs that assist with home heating costs
  • Connect to shelter and supportive services
Protect Yourself and Family:
  • Wear several layers of loose, warm clothing
  • Keep your head, hands and feet covered when outdoors
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia: stiff muscles, shivering, puffy or
    swollen face, cold skin, slow breathing and mental confusion
  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater. Ovens should not be used to heat homes
A Warming Center is a heated facility where Chicagoans can go to find safe refuge from extreme weather.
The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) operates six Warming Centers during work weekdays when temperatures dip below 32 degrees. Additional facilities are opened as needed including Senior Centers, libraries, and Park District buildings. The Warming Centers that DFSS operates are not open on weekday holidays unless specifically indicated. This is why it is so important to contact 3-1-1 for Warming Center information, especially during off hours or on holidays.
The Garfield Center, located at 10 S. Kedzie Avenue, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to connect residents to emergency shelter.
Call 3-1-1 to locate a Warming Center in your area.
9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday
(DFSS Warming Centers are not open on weekday holidays unless specifically indicated. Hours and days may be extended under extreme conditions. Also, other City facilities might be designated  for warming purposes during off hours, That is why it is important to call 3-1-1  for information concerning Warming Center locations, especially during off hours and  on weekday holidays)
Englewood Center
1140 W. 79th Street
Chicago, IL 60620
Garfield Center
10 S. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612
King Center
4314 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL 60653
North Area
845 W. Wilson Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
South Chicago
8650 S. Commercial Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
Trina Davila
4357 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639
Landlords must heat residential buildings to at least 68 degrees during the day and 66 degrees overnight. If you are unable to resolve a heating problem with your landlord, call 3-1-1.


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