Sulzbacher Center life saver for homeless when temps drop

Center opens doors as overnight temps drop to low 30s

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly 70 people showed up Saturday night for a warm place to sleep. The Sulzbacher Center opened its doors to the homeless community as the temperatures dropped into the low 30s. The visiting population was in addition to the 360 homeless people already living at the center.

Hildy Deal said that on cold nights, the Sulzbacher Center is a literal a life saver for her and the dozens of homeless people that went the center Saturday to escape the freezing cold.

“When nights like this, or when it's raining, they give floor space to anybody and everybody that needs it,” Deal said.

The center gives away dozens of blankets inside, and they sometimes even bring them to people on the street. They also give away jackets that are donated by people in the community. Additionally, the center also supplies warm meals, medical attention and offers job services.

Greg Cody and his family are living at the center. His 11-year-old daughter is now in school, and doing well.

“I've got a plan,” Sulzbacher Center resident Greg Cody said. “You've got to have a plan, especially when you're raising kids and you're trying to do the right thing. You’ve got to have a plan. If you don't have a plan, you'll be lost somewhere.”

Deal said that now more than ever, the center gives people a people a sense of self-worth.

"It helps people get off the street," Deal said. "If you have a drug problem, they help you. If you have a psychological problem, they help you. The medical center is up there. They cater to people that are homeless and have no insurance. They give medicine and they help you out."

“We're able to save money here because we don't have to pay no bills,” Cody said. “They feed us three times a day, and with that being said, we appreciate it. We really, really appreciate it.”

The shelter plans on allowing homeless people not living at the center to stay the night for as long at the temperatures stay low. Breakfast is also offered in the morning.

Click here to learn more about the Sulzbacher Center.