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Cold weather shelters open throughout Central Florida as temperatures drop

Winter Weather Oregon
Gillian Flaccus/AP
A homeless man who spent the night outside in temperatures that dipped into the single digits attempts to find shelter from the frigid cold in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

Cold weather shelters will open Friday and throughout the weekend as temperatures drop below 40 degrees in Central Florida.

Shelters will open at the Coalition for the Homeless, Salvation Army, and Orlando Union Rescue Mission, starting on Friday night.

Orlando Union Rescue Mission President Freddy Clayton said anyone who is without heat, whether that’s because they’re homeless or simply can’t afford to pay utilities, is welcome to come to the cold shelter this weekend.

“At our men's home, we can take up to about 85 men and at our family home we can take about 65 men, women and children and so people just need to show up in the afternoon," said Clayton. "And tell our folks that they're there just for the cold night.”

He said the organization works closely with other nonprofits to make sure everyone has a place to stay.

“If they have an overflow, they will call us and we can either send one of our vehicles or LYNX has been very accommodating in providing free transportation to any of the shelters for anybody who steps on the bus and is seeking a warm place to sleep.”

In Osceola County, a cold weather shelter at First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud will open Saturday. In Lake County, shelters will open at Trinity Assembly of God and LifePointe Church Friday.

Lynx and Votran will provide free rides to the shelters.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar, writing fiction, and cooking.
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