City opens warming station in Dowagiac’s depot

DOWAGIAC — As Dowagiac experiences sub-zero temperatures and near-record wind chill this week, the city will be offering its most vulnerable residents shelter from the storm.

Monday evening, the city of Dowagiac temporarily opened the Dowagiac Train Depot, 200 Depot Dr., as a warming station. Until further notice, the station will be open 24 hours a day to provide shelter from the cold. The Dowagiac Police Department, located across the street at city hall, has assigned an officer to check on the station overnight periodically.

“With Michigan under a state of emergency due to sub-zero temperatures, the city decided to open the lobby of the train depot 24 hours a day to serve as a public warming station,” said Vickie Phillipson, programs director for the Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, which is located inside the depot. “The lobby provides the perfect location for anyone who needs emergency shelter from the elements. This can be someone who needs shelter overnight or those who may find themselves in an emergency situation and cannot get home.”

City Manager Kevin Anderson described the warming station as a small-scale operation that can handle no more than five or six occupants at a time. Due to limited resources, the station will not be serving food or beverages.

“It’s not designed to be able to handle large volumes of people,” he said. “It’s just a very small area that a small handful of people can get out of the weather. The goal and hope for this are to be able to provide a place for a few folks that we know typically spend the nights out on the streets. That’s about all it is set up to do. We know that there are individuals who spend a lot of time on the streets of Dowagiac, and we do not want them to risk hypothermia.”

Because the station can only hold a handful of people, Anderson said the city would work to help individuals find other resources or shelters in the case of an overflow. 

At this time, Anderson said he does not know the exact date when the warming station will close, but he expects that by the time the weather warms this weekend, the station will discontinue 24-hour service.

“We are going to let the weather dictate that,” he said.

Though the warming station will be small-scale, both Anderson and Phillipson said they believed that opening the train depot during the cold snap was the right thing to do by the residents of Dowagiac.

“In winter storms such as this, anyone at any time could find themselves in need,” Phillipson said. “We want to make sure we can do everything possible to take care of our own.”

“Anybody who can should be stepping in to do what they can to help,” Anderson said. “We are just one small part of that. … We are just one of many in the city to step forward. The scale in which we are stepping forward is relatively small, but it is what we can do.”

Buchanan

Local provisioning centers celebrate cannabis holiday with sales, overcome software snags

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 799,140 cases, 16,986 deaths

Dowagiac

DUS to install classroom phones in elementary schools, high school

Berrien County

Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association sets annual meeting

Dowagiac

DUS Board of Education honors Class of 2021 Top 10

Buchanan

Buchanan HCU member center lands new leadership

Berrien County

United Way of Southwest Michigan invites community to honor leaders during National Volunteer Week

Buchanan

Buchanan provisioning center raises money to fight cannabis injustices

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office K9 finds home invasion, larceny suspect

Berrien County

UPDATE: Sheriff’s office finds missing Niles man

Brandywine Education

Teacher resigns after allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 793,881 cases, 16,901 deaths

Business

Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

Berrien County

Merritt Elementary hosting pet supply drive for area shelters

Dowagiac

SMC psychology panel provides pandemic perspective

Berrien County

South Bend man sentenced for meth possession in Niles Township

Berrien County

GateWay Services to become Center for Growth and Independence

Buchanan

Cannavista Wellness, Common Citizen launch 420 charitable fundraiser

News

Niles Police Log: April 8-15

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community