County’s Emergency Homeless Shelters Opening This Thursday

Freedom Warming Centers Will Be Open 6 p.m-6 a.m. in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Lompoc, and Santa Maria

Trinity Episcopal Church | Credit: Courtesy

With streets already damp with morning drizzle and rain forecast for this evening through Sunday throughout the Central Coast, four overnight emergency shelters are opening across Santa Barbara County this Thursday to those experiencing homelessness.

The shelters, known as Freedom Warming Centers, open their doors when temperatures drop below 40 degrees or there’s at least a 50 percent chance of precipitation for two consecutive days. While the county officially activated the shelter system for the season two weeks ago, this is the first time since then that the shelters will actually be open.

In South County, warming centers will open tonight at Santa Barbara’s Trinity Episcopal Church (1500 State St.) and Carpinteria Community Church (1111 Vallecito Rd.). In North County, Lompoc’s Peace Lutheran (1000 W. Ocean Ave.) and Santa Maria’s Grogan Center (1155 W. Rancho Verde) will serve as shelters. All warming centers will be open 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The Freedom Warming Centers were started in 2009 after a homeless individual nicknamed “Freedom” died of exposure outside the Cacique Street homeless shelter. Good Samaritan Shelter currently operates the warming centers, which consist of 12 congregations opening their doors on a rotational basis.

For more information, call the warming center hotline at (805) 324-2372.


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