Homeless take shelter from cold

Sulzbacher Center provides hot meals, places to sleep


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cold temperatures are keeping many people inside their homes. But for those without anywhere to go, downtown shelters are offering help.

The Sulzbacher Center usually serves over 300 people downtown in Jacksonville. But on cold nights like Sunday, the center opens up other sleeping areas such as the dining room and library for anyone needing a place to rest. The center also provides hot meals to those in need.

"I mean, I have socks on my hands, just trying keep my hands warm," said Jeard Owens.

At any cost, Owens is just trying to stay warm. He is part of Jacksonville's homeless population that normally sleeps outside when it's cold.

"You are just looking for warmth. Of course, stay away from places with wind. I will stay (at) places under the bridges," said Owens. "Relief. I would say in a single word, just relief, to know that I have a warm place to stay."

William Monan, the facility manager at the Sulzbacher Center, told Channel 4 the center is prepared to help.

"We are getting a lot of people coming in right now, so we have made space available for anybody that wants to get out of the cold," said Monan.

Monan isn't making light of the cold snap.

"This weather that no human being should be in, this type of weather, this time of year. It's not just us, everybody is taking everybody in right now," said Monan.

The Sulzbacher Center says it relies on donations to stay open. They say their biggest need is donations -- everything from blankets to jackets to hats for people staying at the center.

For more information, visit the Sulzbacher Center's web site.