Jacksonville’s homeless shelters are remaining open overnight during this week’s cold snap, offering a warm, safe place to eat and sleep for those in need.
The Salvation Army’s cold night shelter at 900 W. Adams Street has been averaging between 80 and 100 people a night since the cold snap hit. The Adams Street shelter is open 24 hours a day.
Salvation Army Community Relations Manager Kelly Belich said there is a “rather urgent need” there for clothing donations.
“You know we’ve had our cold night shelter open since this past Saturday and as our homeless friends have been coming in to make use of the shelter we noticed that many were without socks, gloves, hats, scarves, and so we’re actually putting out a call of the public for new adult-sized items,” Belich.
New clothing donations can be dropped off anytime at 900 W. Adams Street.
Belich said Tuesday the Salvation Army’s cold night shelter will remain open as long as temperatures continue to dip below 42 degrees.
Belich also announced late Tuesday afternoon that a second Salvation Army shelter at the Jacksonville Citadel Corps building, 15 E. Church Street, is being opened and will also remain open 24 hours a day as long as temperatures are below 40 degrees.
The 15 E. Church Street location is only open to men during the overnight hours although men and women can be accommodated.
Volunteers are needed at the 15 E. Church Street location. Anyone interested is asked to call Mike Batiste at 904-301-4837.
“Human needs don’t get much more basic than a warm meal and a warm safe place to sleep. So on nights like that we just feel our mission very acutely,” said Belich.
The City Rescue Mission has been extending space at its New Life Inn at 234 W. State Street to accommodate up to 100 more people who are in need of a warm place to sleep.
“We will not turn anyone away," said Jaime Davis, Manager of Emergency Services for the City Rescue Mission in an email to WJCT News. The New Life Inn is accepting guests beginning at 2:30 p.m., allowing them to stay until 10-:30 a.m. the next morning.
Right now the plan is to keep the overnight New Life Inn shelter open through Friday but that could be extended if the cold snap lingers.