LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — With homelessness continually rising in Lansing in recent years and winter closing in again, the city has announced one new measure to address the impact of winter on the unhoused.

A new overnight family warming center will open Nov. 27 in the Letts Community Center at 1220 W. Kalamazoo St., and will remain open through April 30, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and human relations director Kimberly A. Coleman said in a news release Friday.

“One gap that we have found here is shelters for families with children that are frequently
at capacity. We are going to prioritize our initial services for these families, especially
through the winter months, while still working with our partner shelters to ensure
individuals have places to go,” Schor said in the news release.

The state of Michigan budgeted $800,000 to help the city of Lansing contract with a vendor to establish and operate a warming center. The city chose Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries to operate the program. DRRM is a faith-based, nonprofit organization.

City officials chose the Letts Center location based on the concentration of need. in the area. “According to our other shelter partners and city agencies, the greatest needs are in and near downtown, so starting the program at the Letts Center location made the most sense for right now.”

During cold weather emergencies, termed “code blue” by the city, the center will temporarily increase program capacity at the shelter, to accept seniors and people with disabilities as needed.