Need warmth or shelter at Dallas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center? Here’s what you need to know

Updated at 6.45pm to add mobile heating station locations.

Dallas is managing a global pandemic. And now a natural disaster crisis.

As temperatures plummeted to dangerous levels for residents and thousands hit massive outages, the downtown Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center became a place for the needy.

While the convention center is also a shelter for people who don’t have a home, there is space on the opposite side of the building for those who are just without heat for the night and need to stay warm. The convention center is also a vaccination center, which is now closed due to the weather.

The quick change operations created confusion about the difference between the protection and the thermal center.

Tonight many are trying to decide where to go without electricity. Here are some things you should know about driving downtown to the convention center.

The Convention Center is located at 650 S. Griffin Street in downtown Dallas. The Warming Center is located in Ballroom A2 and the emergency shelter is in Exhibition Halls D and E. Both are accessible from Canton Street near the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. (Note: the construction of a sidewalk obstructs access from Akard Street.)

The convention center is owned by the city of Dallas, and while staff work at both the warming center and the shelter, nonprofit homeless service providers like OurCalling are instrumental in the work at the shelter.

The homeless shelter opened on Friday and the thermal center on Monday. Both are open 24 hours. The city said the thermal center will be open to residents until Wednesday and the shelter until Friday. Both can stay open longer depending on needs and needs.

Yes, you can stay overnight in both areas, but cribs and blankets are only provided on the guard side. A chair and a table are available in the heat center. Although you can stay overnight in the thermal center, it is not recommended.

The main garage was closed due to the introduction of the vaccine. However, there are parking spaces available. Pass the Black Academy of Arts (650 S. Griffin Street, Dallas) and turn onto Canton Street. Parking spaces are available at Dock A. It is free.

Certified service animals can stay with their owners in the makeshift shelter. Crates are also available for unserviced pets on the shelter page. Pets are also allowed on the thermal protection side.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered on the protective side of the convention center. Bottled water, coffee and light snacks are available from the heat center. People are encouraged to bring their own food to the heat center when they can. Wifi and power sockets are available at both locations.

Masks and social distancing are required in either the heat center or the shelter. Rapid COVID-19 tests will be performed at the shelter while people on the warming center side are screened for COVID-19. This includes a temperature check and answering questions about current health.

Yes, several other thermal centers opened across North Texas starting Tuesday. The convention center was the only building opened Tuesday afternoon by the City of Dallas as a thermal center. Buses are now being offered as heating stations. Here are the locations: the Kidd Springs Recreation Center at 711 W. Canty Street. Jaycee Zaragoza Recreation Center at 3114 Clymer Street, Nash-Davis Recreation Center at 3710 N. Hampton Road, Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center at 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Those who are nearby and can drive safely can find ways to volunteer online at the convention center. OurCalling, which operates the homeless shelter, also welcomes monetary donations.

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