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Cold Weather Shelters brace for spike in need on second night of freezing temps

Tuesday is the second night shelters have opened their doors
Posted at 6:38 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 23:13:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — With another cold night, the need for shelter in the Big Bend area remains.

To make sure people know there is a warm place to stay, members of the Tallahassee Police, Fire Departments, and Leon county deputies are keeping an eye out for those who may need shelter.

Only two of the Big Ben Continuum of Care's cold weather shelters were in use Monday night with people showing up at Jacob's Chapel and City Walk Urban Mission.

Capital Youth Services is on standby to help provide shelter but expecting to open Tuesday night.

The majority of people who turned out Monday night were homeless.

Shelters say this year COVID-19 has changed the way they operate, but they are safe.

"We're operating with 30 as our cap number instead of the normal 60," said Pastor O. Jermaine Simmons of Jacob Chapel Baptist Church. "We have all the cleaning. We have air purification. We're taking all the precautions necessary to serve. We can't help everyone, but we can put a dent in it."

Renee Miller, the Executive Director of City Walk Urban Mission, said they don't want people to take the risk of staying outside.

"I cannot stand to see somebody sleeping outside whether it's 35 degrees or 36 degrees, either one. It's too much for me," Miller said.

In all three dozen people checked into those cold weather shelters.

People who need shelter are asked to meet at the Good Samaritan Thrift store at 7 pm Tuesday night instead of Monday night's 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. window.