Salvation Army opens 'cold night shelter'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With temperatures forecast to approach freezing Friday and Saturday nights, the Salvation Army is preparing to activate its "cold night shelter" to accommodate homeless men who are unable to get a bed in a traditional shelter.

The shelter is set up in the gymnasium of the Salvation Army's Citadel Corps Community Center at 15 E. Church St. downtown.

The shelter is activated when the overnight temperature is forecast to drop below 40 degrees in the downtown area. In cold weather, the traditional homeless shelters around the city fill up quickly to maximum safe capacity. The homeless men start to line up outside the building in the late afternoon.

A warm meal is served beginning at 6:30 p.m., then the doors to the shelter open, providing nearly 100 men a safe, warm place to sleep. Snacks and hot beverages are offered to the men before they leave the gymnasium around 7 a.m. the next morning.

For more information on the men's "cold night shelter," call 904-356-8641.