KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As freezing temperatures move into East Tennessee, some groups are opening shelters to help homeless people stay warm.
Anyone who needs a place to stay warm can go to the McMinn Warming Center. The center will be open Tuesday night and check-in is between 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the East Athens Baptist Church, in Athens. It can house up to 14 people.
The First Baptist Church of Maryville is also waving a white flag outside its doors, inviting people inside. People are welcome to stay between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They providing shelter inside the church's gym.
The warming shelter is a partnership with the church, the United Way of Blount County, Family Promise and other organizations. They worked together to give people shelter from the cold several times in previous years, whenever the temperature drops below 20 degrees.
Meals will be provided at First Baptist Church as well as at the McMinn Warming Center.
Temperatures are expected to drop to the middle teens Tuesday night, following a similarly cold Monday the day before.
People who stay outside in freezing temperatures can face serious issues like frostbite or hypothermia. It can also lead to a higher risk of a heart attack, as the heart works harder to keep people warm.