Homeless shelters fill up as temperatures drop in Jacksonville

By Vic Micolucci, General assignment reporter, vic@wjxt.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:13:05 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 06:47:43 AM EST

VIDEO: With the weather being colder the homeless need a place to stay. The cold weather can be extremely dangerous for the homeless if they sleep out in the chilly air. Shelters in Jacksonville are doing what they can to accommodate them to make sure they have a warm place to stay.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

As many were looking for ways to stay warm Sunday night as meteorologists predicted record-breaking low temperatures, those that are homeless in the Jacksonville area were finding ways to deal with the frigid temperatures.

"It is very cold out there, and you will die out there if you don't have the right supplies, help, or shelter," said Steve Maldonado.

Maldonado knows how bad it is to spend the night in the cold, because he said he's been there.

He's been in and out of homelessness and said he just recently got into a rehabilitation program through Trinity Rescue Mission, getting him off the streets and into the warmth.

"It's a blessing from God to be honest, sir," said Maldonado.

Over the past weekend, hundreds of homeless men, women and children had to deal with below-freezing temperatures, which are not only uncomfortable, but dangerous.

Luckily, shelters like the Trinity Rescue Mission are opening their doors to anyone they can fit.

"We definitely don't want them to be out on the cold concrete at night," said Matt Andrus of Trinity Rescue Mission. "Somebody could definitely pass away because of the elements."

At the nearby Salvation Army shelter, a line formed as people waited to get out of the cold. At the I-M Sulzbacher Center, managers were getting ready for a busy night.

"We have over 300 people living here right now, and we don't have any beds," said Will Moman with Sulzbacher Center. "We try to make them as comfortable as possible on the floor right now."

Shelter managers say they need donations to accommodate the large numbers they're getting this weekend. They are asking for blankets, coats, hats and jackets.

If you would like to help out, managers said you can drop off clothes at any of their centers.

The I-M Sulzbacher Center is located at 611 E. Adams St. You may visit their website by clicking here or call them at 904-359-0457

Trinity Rescue Mission is located at 627 W Beaver Street. Their phone number is 904-356-4033 and you may visit their website here.

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