Places throughout the SouthCoast will function as warming houses over the weekend  for those in need as temperatures drop to well below freezing.

The forecast is calling for temperatures across the SouthCoast to plummet Friday night into Saturday morning, helped along by strong winds, before bouncing back into the 40s by Sunday.

For those of us born and raised in Massachusetts, we are well aware we have had a mild winter and we are definitely not strangers to bone-chilling temperatures. Still, that doesn't mean everyone has a warm place to go. It will be unsafe to be exposed to the elements for more than a few minutes this first weekend in February.

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Enter YMCA Southcoast, which is opening warming stations in the lobbies of its five branches: New Bedford, Fall River, Wareham, Dartmouth and Swansea. The stations will be open 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 3 and 4. Volunteers will check people in and complimentary coffee will be available.

"Service to all is part of the YMCA'a mission and we strive to step in and help whenever we can," YMC Southcoast President Jim Scherer said in a statement.

In New Bedford, PAACA, 360 Coggeshall St., will be open from 4 p.m. Friday to noon on Saturday. Just go to the back door to be let in. PAACA is not a shelter, but is offering a place to come in from the cold and have some food and coffee. Call (508) 997-9051 for more information.

New Bedford's House of Hope will provide a warm bed and a hot meal for anyone who needs one during the freeze warning. House of Hope, 848 Mt. Pleasant St., will come pick up anyone who needs a ride. Just call (508) 996-6814.

Fall River has multiple options as well. First Step Inn, 134 Durfee St., will be open all day Friday and Saturday. Call (508) 974-9972 for more information.

Other spots open Friday include Pope Francis Outreach Center, 1598 South Main St., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; First Baptist Church, 228 North Main St. 4 to 7 p.m., dinner served at 6 p.m.; and Church of the Holy Spirit, 160 Rock St., 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

On Saturday, Christ the Rock Assemly of God at 414 Rock St. will welcome people seeking shelter from the cold, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be equipped with food and warm supplies.

Hopefully these resources will help those in need this weekend.

Stay warm.

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