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January 7, 2015

Burt-Cobb Center to function as city’s emergency shelter

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The Burt-Cobb Community Center will temporarily shift its focus from Community Center to emergency shelter this week due to the subfreezing and subzero temperatures forecast for the coming week.

Manna Cafe, who shelter The Refuge was prohibited from opening due to safety concerns, will staff the Burt-Cobb Center. The city will absorb the cost.

Burt-Cobb will provide shelter services for men, women and children, creating a system of separate sleeping arrangements. Burt-Cobb also has adequate rest facilities.

Both Mayor Kim McMillan and Manna Cafe’s Kenny York agreed that the a shelter would be necessary to keep the city’s most vulnerable residents safe given the extreme weather that is expected to last through Sunday.

Manna Cafe has planned to open The Refuge on Frosty Morn Drive but just hours before the opening, the city shut that project down due to fire and sanitation concerns, stating the structure was built as an office and cited a need for better bathroom and more fire extinguishers along with other safety concerns.

York and McMillan have been able to work together to create the Burt-Cobb alternative.

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