Clayton County residents have stocked and continue to volunteer at the county warming center at Sequoyah Middle School in Riverdale, ensuring that 20 men, women, and children were able to spend Christmas Eve out of the elements.

Clayton County Police are offering free rides to the warming center for anyone in need. To get a ride, call 770-477-3747.

Volunteers are still needed through at least noon on Monday, December 26, when the center is scheduled to close. You can sign up online at

Clayton County Public Schools and the Clayton County Board of Commissioners authorized the center, which Volunteer Coordinator Drew Andrews has been managing along with Attania Jean-Funny.

Volunteers like Marisol Sconiers, who pulled multiple shifts on Christmas Eve, and Nancy Barahona, who also has worked numerous shifts, are checking in guests, organizing food and toiletries, and making sure that the kids who spent Christmas Eve in the warming center got something to open on Christmas morning.

The outpouring of generosity from local citizens and businesses was apparent:

A challenge has been to get these gifts to the people who need them most. Not all people experiencing homelessness want to come to the warming center because they would need to leave their personal items unattended. Others don’t want help, or prefer to avoid shelters of any kind.

This is the second year that a pop-up warming center has opened in Clayton County. For some of those involved, the need for a more permanent shelter is apparent:

We’ll keep you updated on efforts to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Clayton County.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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