McKinney City Council approved a request Nov. 3 from the Salvation Army to open the warming station this year with the ability to serve up to 50 people. Last year, the Emergency Overnight Warming Station was limited to 40 people.
The station will be located at 600 Wilson Creek Parkway, McKinney, and is able to operate and offer temporary lodging when the temperature outdoors is expected to reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower between 6 p.m.-8 a.m.
David Feeser, a major with the Salvation Army, stated during an Oct. 27 McKinney Planning and Zoning Commission meeting that usually, the people staying in the shelter leave around 6 or 7 a.m. and that last year, the station averaged about 23 people served each night.
"In talking with some of the neighborhood residents, some of them didn't even realize we were open last year. And that's exactly what we wanted," Feeser said.
The Salvation Army is looking to partner with the Collin County Homeless Coalition to provide this service.
Feeser has said that if police were needed to be called to the station, he would shut the service down.
"If it's not safe in my building, I know it's not safe in the other areas," Feeser said. "That was—one of my main concerns was just making sure we have a safe place and that residents don't even know we're operating."
A number of people came forward to voice their support for the McKinney Emergency Overnight Warming Station; they said it provides a critical service for people who have fallen on hard times.
Council members voiced their support of the overnight warming station. Council Member Scott Elliott said the way the shelter operated last year is a testament to how it will operate this year.
"I'm in favor of saving lives," Council Member La'Shadion Shemwell said. "If 40 was the maximum last year and we only averaged 23 [people], so be it. And if we move to 50 and we only average 23, so be it. But it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."