Cold night shelters opening in Northeast Florida as temperatures dip

City Rescue Mission (WJXT)

With temperatures forecast to drop this weekend, cold night shelters will be opening across Northeast Florida.

Due to the low temperatures forecasted over the next few days, City Rescue Mission will expand its overnight services to people in need of safe and warm shelter, the nonprofit in downtown Jacksonville said Friday.

“As the weather turns colder, we will not turn anyone away,” said Paul Stasi, CRM executive director. “We want to make sure that our neighbors in need have a warm shelter and a hot meal.”

Those seeking shelter may check in to CRM’s New Life Inn at 234 West State Street in Jacksonville beginning at 2:30 p.m. each day. All guests will receive a hot meal and will be offered access to showers and clean clothing.

CRM said all guests will be required to partake in an instant COVID-19 test in the lobby prior to entry and adhere to any safety precautions. Quarantine is available for anyone who tests positive, CRM said.

With overnight temperatures expected to drop below 40 degrees during the next few days, Sulzbacher is prepared to provide cold night shelter on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to people who are homeless. In addition to housing more than 400 people at both the Downtown Campus, as well as Sulzbacher Village, the agency will open up temporary sleeping areas in dining rooms and library areas for people in need of shelter during these frigid evenings.

Women and families seeking shelter from the cold can go to Sulzbacher Village at 5455 Springfield Blvd., and men can go to Sulzbacher’s Downtown Campus at 611 East Adams St.

Sulzbacher continues to follow social distancing guidelines on overnight space and will have temperature screenings prior to entry.

In Fernandina Beach, the city, in partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless of Nassau County, will open a cold weather shelter at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium at 1200 Elm St. on Friday and Saturday. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and people must arrive before 10 p.m. to be admitted.

In Gainesville, city officials said the city’s Cold Night Shelter Program will be activated due to the anticipation of temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the evening hours Friday through Monday. The city said the program is expected to remain in effect until overnight low temperatures rise above 45 degrees.

St. Francis House and GRACE Marketplace provide CNS services to people in need of shelter as long as overnight temperatures remain below 45 degrees. The CNS Program providers serve additional persons in need of shelter so that families and individuals desiring shelter will have a warm place to stay. St. Francis House provides temporary shelter that is appropriate for families, women and children. GRACE Marketplace primarily serves individual adults.

The program normally runs from Nov. 1 through March 31.