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Akron Residents Have Limited Options For Emergency Shelters During Cold Snap

Mark Arehart
Around 30 people sleep outside in tents at Second Chance Village as temperatures plummet

With temperatures expected to plummet in the next few days, warming centers are extending their hours throughout the region. But in Akron, options are limited for those who need to get warm in the middle of the night.

The cities of Cleveland and Canton have warming centers open overnight through at least Saturday, but in Akron, the city's four community centers close their doors at 10 p.m.

In Akron's unofficial homeless community, Second Chance Village, around 30 people like Brooke Hoppler brave the cold in snow covered tents. 

"Well a night for me is I wake up freezing cold, push my little buddy heater on, sit there for four minutes, let it warm up. Then I go back to bed, got to turn it off. Wake up, freezing cold, turn it back on. Wait five minutes, go back to bed. It's just a (repeat) of that." 

The tent city and donation center doesn't have room for residents to sleep inside but does have a warming room open all night. 

A few miles northwest, Akron's Haven of Rest Ministries is taking in around 230 people a night during this cold snap. That's up from around 180 during the warmer months. 

Cleveland Warming Centers 

  • Zelma Watson George Recreation Center, 3155 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive (open 24 hours)
  • Collinwood Recreation Center, 16300 Lakeshore Blvd. (open 24 hours)
  • Lonnie Burten Recreation Center, 2511 East 46th Street (open 24 hours)
  • Michael Zone Recreation Center, 6301 Lorain Avenue (open 7 p.m. - 9 a.m.)

Canton Warming Centers 

  • The Edward “Peel” Coleman Community Center, 1400 Sherrick Rd SE (open 6 p.m. - 8 a.m.)
  • The Salvation Army, 420 Market Avenue South (open 9 a.m - 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday)

Akron Warming Centers

  • Mason Park Community Center, 700 E. Exchange Street (open 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
  • Patterson Park Community Center, 800 Patterson Avenue (open 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
  • Summit Lake Community Center, 380 W. Crosier Street (open 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
  • Lawton Street Community Center 1225 Lawton Street (open 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.