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Warming shelter opening in Sallisaw

Saturday, January 13, 2024 - With temperatures expected to reach single digits with wind chills below zero over the next several days, it is vital that everyone have a warm place to stay.

According to Sequoyah County Emergency Management Director Jonathan Teague, Sallisaw will be able to provide a warming shelter thanks to community volunteers coming together.

Sequoyah County Emergency Management, Sequoyah County Health Department, and The SHED have partnered together to erect a warming shelter for the community which will be located in the Sallisaw Farmers Market lot at the corner of Cherokee and Elm.

Teague said that the shelter was delivered Friday night and volunteers will be erecting it Saturday with hopes of having it operational by 7 p.m. Saturday night.

The self-contained structure will have a generator and HVAC system. Bathrooms, food, and additional support will be provided by The SHED at 100 E. Cherokee which is located just across Cherokee from the shelter's location.

Anyone in need of a warm place to stay is welcome to come to the shelter. The shelter will be available for overnight stays. Pets are not allowed unless certified service animals.

"When this plan started coming together, and I started making phone calls for help, not once was I told no. Not once. Every single person I contacted did not hesitate to throw their back into the project and offer support," Teague said. "It's a great testimony of the great folks we have in our community. I offer my sincerest Thank You to all who have, and will, help to see this project come to a successful fruition. It's very rewarding to see a community come together for a common cause."

Teague stated that special thanks go out to Treye Girdner with Local Bank and Todd Martin with Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home for covering the cost of the generator fuel, Sallisaw Head Football Coach Brandon Tyler for providing football players to help with the heaving lifting, George Bormann and the City of Sallisaw, Terry Franklin and the Sallisaw Police Department, along with Eric Riggs and the Sequoyah County Health Department.

For more information, volunteering, and donations please contact Harold Powell at 918-774-3120. "Mr. Powell was instrumental in bringing this shelter to the county," Teague said.

Also, according to Cherokee Nation Emergency Management, the Gore Police Department, on the west end of the county, and the Belfonte Community Center will both be open to offer warmth for those in need.

Fort Smith warming centers include:

Salvation Army

Monday-Thursday 8 am to 9 pm

Friday 9 am to noon

Next Step Homeless Services

Monday-Friday 8 am to 3 pm

Hope Campus

7 Days Per Week 8 am - 8 pm

*Those needing overnight stays will need to sign up and be notified.

KXMX Staff Writer

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