AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin will open four warming centers later this week during an anticipated cold front. There will also be three cold weather shelters for people to stay overnight.

The warming centers will be open Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The cold snap is expected to drop temperatures sharply, with wind chill temperatures falling to the single digits.

Warming center locations

  • Little Walnut Creek Branch Library, 835 W. Rundberg Ln, Austin, TX 78758  
  • Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702  
  • Turner Roberts Recreation Center, 7201 Colony Loop Dr, Austin, TX  78724  
  • George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center 5801 Ainez Dr 
    Austin, TX 78744 

Cold weather shelters

Staff across the city will operate three Cold Weather Shelters on a 24-hour basis with the ability to expand capacity. 

To register for one of the shelters, go to 505 Barton Springs Road. A shelter location will be assigned and transportation provided for those who need to stay overnight in the shelters.

CapMetro will be providing rides to the warming centers and shelters.

“Anyone seeking a warming shelter/center and does not have the means to pay the fare will still be given a ride. No one will be denied service to a warming shelter/center on CapMetro services. Nothing is more important than the safety of those in our community,” CapMetro said in a statement.

Activation for shelters is contracted via the Austin Area Urban League (AAUL), according to a press release from the city.

Consistent with the weather forecasted this week, the city anticipates CWS operations will begin Thursday, according to a press release.

The city said activation of shelters is determined at 9 a.m. every day by Austin Public Health (APH) using the National Weather Service (NWS) projections for the Camp Mabry location.

NWS Camp Mabry was selected for assessing temperatures due to its central location and proximity to downtown Austin, where a significant number of people experience homelessness.

The city will activate cold weather shelters if the forecast meets is:

  • 32 degrees or colder overnight
  • 32 degrees with rain/wet
  • 32 degrees with wind chill of 32 degrees or colder

Notification to activate:

  • Cold Weather Shelter Hotline updated to indicate activation – 512-305-ICEE (4233)
  • APH sends an email to a community communication portal and other organizations involved in outreach and information to unsheltered individuals.
  • HSEM sends a text to phone numbers registered on the alert system.

Guidance for cold weather shelter guests:

  • On nights when a Cold Weather Shelter is activated, CapMetro will not require any fee/ticket for anyone that tells a driver they are going to a Cold Weather Shelter.
  • People can bring their belongings, as long as they can transport them to the central registration location and on to a CapMetro Bus.
  • Pets are allowed, if they are not aggressive, able to be around others, have a leash and can sleep with owner. If a pet needs a crate for the evening at the Cold Weather Shelter, individuals should let staff know at the central location when registering.
  • Meals will be provided at the Cold Weather Shelter
  • Women/couples will be able to be at the same Cold Weather Shelter, but in a separate area, as capacity allows.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the cold snap before it arrives Thursday.