Tonight, five locations in Santa Barbara will open their doors to homeless individuals in need of shelter from the elements. The Freedom Warming Centers are named after a homeless man, nicknamed Freedom, who died in his wheelchair due to exposure as temperatures dropped below 40 degrees in December 2009. He was one of at least 27 homeless who died in 2009, many of them from preventable causes.
The centers open when temperatures drop below 35 degrees, or when rain is forecasted for the night. They are part of a joint initiative by faith communities and homeless advocates. The location of the centers are as follows:
Santa Barbara: Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, Trinity Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First Congregational Church
Isla Vista: University Methodist Church
Carpinteria: Carpinteria Community Church
Lompoc: Peace Lutheran Church
Santa Maria: Salvation Army