Tallahassee Cold Night Shelters Remain Open As Cold Snap Lingers
Near-freezing temperatures mean Tallahassee's cold night shelters will remain open tonight. Kearney Center spokesperson Audra Peoples says a total of 75 residents have made use of the spaces since they opened Monday.
Gwynn Virostek is the President and CEO of Capital City Youth Services. Her group provides a cold night shelter for people aged 24 and younger. Virostek says Tuesday she got a call about a 19-year-old who was out in the cold wearing only shorts and a long-sleeve T-shirt. She quickly offered him space at the shelter.
"So he got there and he was so cold. I went and got him a big thick blanket and put it over his legs while he was eating his hamburger. He was very appreciative and was so tired. I guess he'd been in the cold for a long time," Virostek says.
Virostek says the young man's shorts looked wet, so she gave him new clothes.
"It was rewarding to be able to help people because that young man may have frozen last night," Virostek says.
Virostek says CCYS has helped the same young man before at the group's drop-in center. She says her organization is trying to connect him with appropriate services and a place to stay long-term.
Jacob Chapel Baptist Church and City Walk are also hosting shelters. They're open to adults.
Anyone staying overnight at any of the shelters will have to pass a temperature check and COVID-19 screening questions.
2019 Data from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness shows Florida has the third-highest rate of people experiencing homelessness in the country.