By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — The Citizens Center will open tonight as a shelter from the extreme cold that has hit the region.
Mayor James Fiorentini said the city also opened the building on Welcome Street last night and that two homeless people spent the night there.
"Normally we try to steer homeless people who show up the Citizens Center to one of the local shelters, but we waive that rule in severely cold weather," Fiorentini said. "We don't want anyone sleeping under a bridge or in a park when it's this cold. We're also concerned about someone whose heat goes out in the middle of night."
The mayor said anyone whose heat goes out or needs a warm place to spend the night should call the Police Department at 978-373-1212. He said police will open the center for them and also transport them to the facility if needed.
"If you know someone who is without heat, they can go to the Citizens Center during the day'' during the center's regular hours, Fiorentini said. "If it is night, they can call the Police Department on the non-emergency line."