MADERA COUNTY – The County of Madera has established three different Warming Centers in the mountain area, for those seeking comfortable sanctuary during times of extreme winter cold.
In Oakhurst, the Sierra Senior Center, located at 49111 Cinder Lane, just behind the Oakhurst Community Center, will be open as a warming center Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Betty Persson, who runs the nutrition program at the Sierra Senior Center, says the warming center is available for anyone who needs it.
“It’s there for people who are having problems heating their homes, and it is also for homeless people,” says Persson. “I try to greet them when they come in and we always offer them water, and coffee when it’s available.”
There are also restroom facilities, and the Oakhurst location includes a library where Persson says visitors who shelter there can “sit for a while and rest.”
“I try to be cordial and welcoming to them because I know they’re having a hard enough time already,” she says.
In Coarsegold, the designated warming center is the Coarsegold Community Center, located at 35540 Highway 41. The Community Center will be open for warming three days a week: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In Yosemite Lakes Park, the YLP Clubhouse is the designated warming center Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), these centers and others will be open during scheduled times, and the need for more time will be continually assessed.
“Other centers may be opened on an ‘as needed’ basis and will be announced through the Madera County Sheriff’s Office,” says the OES. “Centers are closed on holidays unless otherwise indicated.”
For more information on county locations, please contact the Sheriff’s Department/OES at 559 675-7770.
Sierra Senior Center, 49111 Cinder Lane, Oakhurst, (559) 683-3811
Coarsegold Community Center, 35540 Highway 41, Coarsegold, (559) 683-7953
Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse, 30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway, Coarsegold, (559) 658-7466