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Winter months present challenges to Tallahassee organizations helping the unhoused

Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 18:33:23-05
  • Local organizations are preparing to face additional challenges as the winter months approach.
  • They are looking to neighbors for monetary support and donations.
  • Watch the video to find out how they help our unhoused neighbors.


Cold night shelters open in Tallahassee when temperatures hit 35 degrees or below. While we're not quite there yet, organizations are working ahead to be prepared for those temperature drops.

Helping women who have been victims of a many hardships, I meet Debra Harris. We talk about the frequency of people losing their houses.

"That's a big, big thing we're dealing with now," said Harris.

Harris is the founder of Making Miracles Group Home. She has first hand experience with this.

"My mom was homeless and we had to sleep outside, and we had blankets to make as a tent," said Harris.

So she helps these women get back on their feet so they can live independently. But recently, she said, inflation is making that much more difficult.

"They're trying to work, pay bills, pay utilities, buy diapers, then what happens, they can't buy the food that they need to eat," said Harris.

This recent increase in need is something Paul Rutkovsky is familiar with.

"Of the people that come in here, they don't have to be houseless, but many of them are, they need help," said Rutkovsky. "Lots and lots and lots of help."

He is the manager of The Plant, a space that provides art supplies for people to be creative, and resources including food and clothing.

But he tells me the resources are finite. They can't house people. He tells me it's so difficult to ask people to leave. It concerns him.

"The young ones that are frankly my concern because there's not as much experience, that's my belief, what do I do out there," said Rutkovsky.

Paul said he will offer rides to the Kearney Center, a 24-hour comprehensive emergency center for individuals experiencing or on-the-verge of homelessness.

Now, he is asking for people to donate any spare blankets.

For Debra, they've just bought a new house to expand her services and house more women so she never has to say:

"I'm sorry we don't have a spot, and then she's like, what am I going to do," said Harris.

The Plant and Making Miracles provide services beyond just basic necessities. But if you're looking right now for those immediate resources you find morehere.