List of needed items updated

The Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority (MTA) has joined multiple community agencies in providing people a warm and safe place to stay at the Brookdale Warming Center. They will offer free rides to the Center from the Historic Macon Terminal Station for anyone who has a pass provided by local support organizations.

“There hasn’t been one organization that has said ‘no’ to helping make the Brookdale Warming Center possible, and that speaks very highly of our community,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller. “One of our conversations from the beginning of putting this together was about getting people there, and I want to thank the Transit Authority for providing these rides.”

The route to get people to the Brookdale Warming Center will be the Bellevue Block 1 Route, which runs from the Terminal Station to a stop close to the Center. The last bus for this route leaves the Transfer Center at 7:55 p.m. on weekdays and 5:25 p.m. on Saturdays. The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is also able to bring people to the Center, and Macon-Bibb County is working out to churches and other agencies to help with transportation.

“We know that, if people can’t pay for heat in their homes or are homeless, they may not have reliable transportation, so we want to remove that barrier and get as many people there as possible,” says MTA President & CEO Craig Ross. “We have the resources to help people in need, and this is a chance for our entire community to step forward and help. We wish this effort wasn’t necessary, but we’re proud to be part of the team making it happen.”

Several of the organizations are in need of specific resources to help run the facility and support the people who will be staying there. The primary need will be volunteers to help run the facility, and you can sign up by visiting the United Way of Central Georgia’s web portal at www.unitedwaycg.org/volunteer or by calling the Salvation Army at 478-746-8572. You can also support the effort by donating the following items. All cloth items should be new and not used.

  • Disposable coffee cups and stirrers;
  • Individual packs of cream and sugar for coffee;
  • Toiletries;
  • Wash cloths;
  • Gloves;
  • Socks;
  • Knit hats;
  • A clothing rack;
  • 60 large rectangle nine-cup Ziplock containers
  • Laundry detergent pods so people and families can wash clothes;
  • Books, board games, puzzles, and other activities for people of all ages, including children;
  • Gift cards; and
  •  Money to the Central Georgia COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund.

The Center is opening at first as only a warming center where people can get out of the cold, take a shower, get three meals per day provided by the Salvation Army, and be safe. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the next 60-90 days in order to get people through the coldest months. There will be two separate wings of rooms for people to stay in, one for adults and one for families with children. Shower facilities will be made available, and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office will provide security the entire time. Moving forward, other services will be provided, including mental health evaluations, educational support, health services, and more.

All COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, including temperature checks as people check in to the facility, masks will be required in the building except when eating, and hand sanitizer bottles will be placed around the building. Tables in the cafeteria have been spaced out to enforce social distancing.