Homeless centers filling to capacity

Cold weather brings hundreds in doors

Author: Scott Johnson, General assignment reporter, sjohnson@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 06 2014 10:35:14 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 06 2014 11:02:40 PM EST
Homeless shelter
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

As the weather potentially dips into the teens Monday night, homeless shelters are at capacity trying to help all the people get out of the cold.

The crowd for chapel at Trinity Rescue mission Monday night was arguably as big as a popular church on a Sunday morning. Homeless people packed into the building for a warm place to sleep. 

Rodney York is one of about 180 who will be in Trinity Rescue, which like every other shelter in town will not turn anyone away Monday night. 

"So you're not out there suffering from hypothermia," said York. We'd die out there in a heartbeat."

Across town at the Sulzbacher center, they're opening their overflow shelter in the library and feeding everyone they can - particularly with oranges. They received a large donation because the freeze would have killed the crop.

Allison Vega with the Sulzbacher Center says it's fortunate, especially on nights below freezing, that the shelters won't turn anyone away. 

"If they didn't have our center, people wouldn't have anywhere to go," said Vega. "When it's 40 (degrees) it's one thing, but when it gets down to 18 (degrees) it's extreme for any family."