Warming centers opened up all along Waxahachie and surrounding cities.

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

As temperatures dropped below freezing throughout the week and power and water outages continued, various warming centers opened up in Waxahachie, allowing people to seek warmth and shelter.

The local YMCA in Waxahachie opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

"At its heart, the Y is a community service organization. We are committed to the health and safety of our members and guests. With the extreme weather conditions and many without power, the Y saw a need in the community, and at the Y, we are always there to serve the community wherever there is a need," shared Kristin Welsh, spokesperson for the facility. 

Currently, YMCA staff members are helping in the warming centers.

"The YMCA Warming Centers are a space for people without power and/or water to get a hot cup of coffee, charge their devices, access WiFi, refill water bottles, and families may also bring food to warm up in microwaves where available," explained Welsh. "At this time, we are not accepting food and clothing donations as we don't have the capacity to process and distribute them. We encourage people looking to donate food or clothes to reach out to local organizations that are helping people with those needs."

The YMCA then announced that their facilities would extend aid until Friday, Feb. 19. 

"Our hearts are with all of our neighbors right now who are struggling with power and water outages. We have seen a steady stream of community members utilizing the warming centers today and will continue to look for ways to help," stated Welsh.

The Y was open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at several facilities in the DFW area. 

In addition, churches including Waxahachie Bible Church (WBC), First Baptist Church in Waxahachie and The Avenue Church all announced they were opening to the public on Monday.

WBC pastor Bruce Zimmerman wrote a few words on the city's state on his Facebook page on Monday evening: "People have gathered today at Waxahachie Bible Church because they have lost power at their homes or apartment. They are cold and hungry. If you need a warm place to stay tonight, the church is open. Bring a blanket and pillows," he stated. "If you have food and can bless people with a dish, please bring it by the church. Pastor Manuel and Eddie went out to find food for the group this evening, and the shelves are empty at Walmart!. We will be out of this terrible cold in a few days and the shelves will be restocked. If you have food that can be shared please do so at this time. There are some cooks among the group who can prepare food for everyone who is there if they have the ingredients necessary."

In addition, Jim Markle, administrative pastor from Waxahachie Bible Church, shared details on its warming center after it opened its doors.

"We have about 60 (people) right now, about 75 is max I think," said Markle. "We have had a tremendous amount of food donated."