Jacksonville homeless shelters prepare for low temperatures
Many shelters expecting to be near capacity
With the brutal cold weather in our area that will be even colder next week homeless shelters are going to be near capacity. The Sulzbacher Center puts out a message at dinner time that anyone is welcome to stay there when temperatures are near freezing.
They, like many of the other shelters will use all the space they have so that nobody has to stay in the cold.
Patrick Finn-Schultz, Manager at the Sulzbacher Center Shelter says, "The emergency shelter, we use the emergency space in our library. It's warm, safe and secure through the night."
It's something many living without housing say they appreciate.
"It's really treacherous," says Edgar Walker. "Especially if you're laying out on street. Some people they've got pride and ego and they don't want to come out in this, but common sense, go inside get yourself warm, get something to eat and shower, people that care about you."
At the Sulzbacher Center, 30 people stayed there Thursday night to avoid the cold, and they expect at least that, maybe more as temperatures drop even lower at the beginning of next week.
"We're just really greatful that we can provide those services so that people don't have to stay out," says Finn-Schultz. "We only wish we could do more."
Rico James was homeless in the past and now comes by Trinity Rescue mission to donate because he knows how important the shelters are. The shelters say that it's people like him that make opening up extra space on cold nights possible.
The Sulzbacher Center says they have outreach teams to help them get the word out to the homeless that they will have extra space opened up for the cold. They, like many of the other shelters on cold nights, are on a first come first served basis until all available space is filled up.