City of Dover Warming and Cooling Centers

City of Dover Warming and Cooling Centers

Tri-city warming center to be activated this weekend due to cold temperatures

The Strafford County Emergency Extreme Weather Warming Center in Somersworth will be activated during overnight hours this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 8, 9 and 10 due to a forecast of potentially life-threatening low temperatures.

The warming center located at 30 Willand Drive, Somersworth, will open at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 8 and remain open until 9 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 9. It will reopen that evening at 5 p.m. and close the following morning, Sunday, Jan. 10, at 9 a.m. The warming center will reopen that evening at 5 p.m. and close at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 11.

Those seeking shelter may arrive anytime between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. during the activation period. Referrals or reservations are not required. COVID-19 coronavirus precautions are in place, including hand hygiene, social distancing, and required masking. Meals are provided each morning and evening when the warming center is activated.

COAST Bus has agreed to transport anyone on their way to the warming center to the closest bus stops at no cost on Friday and Saturday. On Bus Route 1, the nearest stop is the Holy Trinity Church at 404 High St., Somersworth. On Bus Route 12, the closest stop is Key Buick GMC of Somersworth, located at 155 Route 108 in Somersworth. Warming center clients will receive transportation assistance back to their home community or community partner agency of choice each morning when warming center operations close for the day. 

On Sunday, when COAST Bus is not in operation, the warming center will dispatch a passenger van to pick up those who need a ride to two locations: the Dover Transportation Center at 33 Chestnut St., Dover, and the Monster Gas Station at 113 S. Main St., Rochester. The van will pick up at the Dover Transportation Center between 4:30-5 p.m. and at the Monster Gas Station between 5-5:30 p.m. Those needing a ride are urged to be at the pickup spot at the earliest scheduled time to ensure a seat in the van. If the van is not full at the first pickup, a second van may not run. Partner agencies are encouraged to assist clients with transportation to the warming center when the bus routes are unavailable. 

The warming center is a partnership of the cities of Dover, Somersworth and Rochester to establish an alternative location for a regional warming center to accommodate social distancing and other challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Dover recently purchased the property and equipment for the warming center through a New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority grant. 

Strafford County Integrated Delivery Network (IDN), Region 6 (Strafford County/Seacoast) staffs the warming center. Strafford County received a grant that covers staffing costs during life-threatening weather conditions for up to 60 days beginning on Jan. 1.

Contact scwarmingshelter@gmail.com or 1-857-323-0388 for more information. There is also a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SCEmergencyShelter/.

Warming center seeks volunteers

The Strafford County Emergency Extreme Weather Warming Center seeks volunteers to assist operations this winter.

The warming center is operated by the Strafford County Integrated Delivery Network (IDN), Region 6 (Strafford County/Seacoast).

Expectations for on-site volunteers include:

  • Willingness to commit to at least one 4-hour overnight shift between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. during the season.
  • Willingness to wear a mask, maintain/model and encourage all others to practice COVID-19 precautions.
  • Willingness to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Some ability to travel/serve during extreme weather.

All abilities, interests and availabilities are welcome. The Strafford County Emergency Extreme Cold Weather Shelter is an extension of the tri-city community's commitment to its vulnerable neighbors, and every contribution is appreciated. For more information about volunteering, email scwarmingshelter@gmail.com or call 1-857-323-0388.

Need emergency assistance?

In conjunction with the City of Dover's walk-in cooling centers located throughout the community, the City's Public Welfare Department is available to coordinate services for those who need and want emergency assistance, including shelter, food and medical care.

The Public Welfare Department offices at the McConnell Center are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and can be reached by phone at 603-516-6500. For after-hours emergency needs, the public welfare program also remains accessible simply by calling 603-742-4646 or visiting the police or fire stations to request assistance. P0olice and fire personnel are trained emergency responders and will notify and coordinate with the City's public welfare providers, day or night, getting assistance to those who truly want help. This assistance can include finding available shelter space, day or night, along with transportation, if needed.