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Around The Clock Services Available For Eastern Iowans In Need

Community centers are offering extended hours to held eastern Iowa residents get out of the dangerously cold weather. Some services will be available around the clock.

People in need of warmth and shelter in eastern Iowa can find around the clock services during this week’s cold snap. Meterologists and public health officials are warning the blast of Arctic air can be life-threatening, and anyone exposed can develop hypothermia or frostbite within a matter of minutes. Here are some of the services and resources available in the eastern part of the state for those looking to get out of the cold:

Johnson County

Shelter House

The Iowa City-based Shelter House is keeping its doors open around the clock this week. 24/7 services will be available in the lobby of the agency's main office at 429 Southgate Avenue, and at the winter emergency shelter at 821 South Clinton Street. Activity rooms for kids and families are available at the Southgate site.

Due to the increased need, the Shelter House is taking monetary donations, as well as in-kind donations of gloves, long underwear, food and bus passes.

Iowa City Public Library

The Iowa City Public Library is opening its lobby area early on Thursday morning to provide warmth and shelter until the main library opens at 10 am. Doors to the front lobby will open and hot coffee and cocoa will be available beginning at 8 am. Staff members will also be collecting mittens, gloves, hats and scarves, which will be available for pickup at the Help Desk.

Iowa City Parks and Recreation

While many Parks and Recreationgroup fitness classes and sports practices have been canceled, the Robert A. Lee Community Center, Scanlon Gymnasium and Mercer Aquatic Center are all open regular hours. Check on cancellations and closures here.

Iowa City Senior Center

Classes and activities have been canceled through Thursday, but the Senior Center itself is open and serving as a warming shelter for anyone who needs it.


The Coralville Public Library will be open and serving as a warming center, with many activites and services available. A pop-up food pantry organized by a local sixth grade student and her family, along with area businesses, is also up and running, offering both fresh and shelf-stable food while supplies last. The Coralville Rec Center and Pool are also open.

Linn County

Willis Dady Homeless Services

Willis Dady Homeless Services in Cedar Rapids will be open around the clock to serve as a warming shelter. Though it's typically closed during the day, anyone can come to the traditional emergency shelteror winter overflow shelter. Beds are also available to anyone who needs one at the winter overflow shelter. Transportation will be available from the shelter directly to the Cedar Rapids Public Library, which is also offering extended hours.

Cedar Rapids Transit

Cedar Rapids buses are operating and will be free to ride all day Wednesday and Thursday. The city does not expect delays but encourages riders to use the Cedar Rapids transit app to gauge arrival times and reduce time spent outside.

Cedar Rapids Warming Shelters

The Downtown Library will be open extended hours on Wednesday and Thursday. Hot coffee, cocoa and pastries will be available while supplies last. The Ladd Library will also be open and available as a warming shelter. The libraries are also extending due dates through this Saturday.

Residents can also warm up at the Ground Transportation Center in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The NewBo City Market will also be open and accessible through 5 pm Wednesday. 

Cedar Rapids Pop-Up Food Pantries

Cedar Rapids residents have collected hundreds of pounds of foods to help kids and families who typically rely on school meal programs, but can't when schools are shuttered due to the weather. Residents can pick up and drop off food at the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association.

Marion Warming Shelters

The Marion Public Library will be operating as a warming shelter with extended hours on Wednesday and Thursday. Hot beverages will be available while supplies last.

Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter