The temporary housing shelter typically hopes to open earlier in the winter season but was unable to secure a location before late December this year, said Paul Ballestros, founder and president of Emmanuel Labor and member of the leadership team at the McKinney Overnight Warming Station.
The McKinney Salvation Army building, where the warming station will be located, will be occupied by the Angel Tree Program until late December. The McKinney Salvation Army is located at 600 Wilson Creek Parkway, McKinney.
“In the meantime, we're hoping to just be creative on those nights that get cold. We're going out to make sure people get blankets and things like that,” Ballestros said.
Any church in McKinney has the ability to host the warming station for up to 30 days, Ballestros said, and the station is interested in finding a temporary space in order to open sooner.
Ballestros shared the news with members of the Collin County Homeless Coalition on Nov. 7. At the same meeting, neighboring Plano leadership members announced that the Plano Overnight Warming Shelter would have its first night of service Nov. 11. It has been open for two other nights since then.
Those who have their own transportation will be encouraged to take themselves to the Plano Overnight Warming Station, Ballestros said. Shuttles will not be available to take individuals to the Plano location because of an agreement between the city of Plano and the Plano Overnight Warming Station to primarily serve Plano residents, according to Ballestros.
“One of our commitments to the city of Plano was that we try to serve Plano individuals, but we're certainly not going to turn people away,” said Cathy Sweeney, associate pastor at Arapaho United Methodist Church and member of the Plano Overnight Warming Station leadership team.
Salvation Army overnight warming stations open when combined temperature, precipitation and wind must reach a “dangerously inclement” level, according to a Salvation Army Overnight Warming station informational handout.