Hillsborough County cold weather shelters opened this winter for the first time Dec. 21, as a haven for people who live on the streets or in homes without adequate heat.
County officials work with staff and volunteers at five locations to provide shelter from the cold when temperatures, with or without the wind chill, hit 32 degrees or lower.
Shelters are likely to open again this weekend, with low temperatures Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 22 and 23, expected to hit 41 and 40, respectively.
Last winter, cold weather shelters reportedly opened eight days, assisting 1,599 individuals. Hillsborough shelters in 2010 were open 31 days and served about 6,000 individuals.
Shelter volunteers at the Brandon Community Center, Jackson Springs Recreation Center and Wimauma Community Center are accepting donations of supplies, including blankets, disinfectant wipes, disposable cups, coffee, creamer, paper plates, plastic utensils, and sugar. Call to make your donation (see list below).
Meals for the shelters are provided through Metropolitan Ministries. Those wishing to donate non-perishable items should contact Metropolitan Ministries at 813-209-1000.
Hillsborough County Cold-Weather Shelter Locations
- Brandon Community Center, at 501 East Sadie St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., for the homeless and families with children. Call: 813-653-8179.
- Metropolitan Ministries, 2010 North Florida Ave. Doors open at 4 p.m., for families. After hours, call: 813-209-1077
- Salvation Army, 1514 North Florida Ave. Doors open at 4 p.m., for adults only. After hours, call: 813-221-4440.
- Jackson Springs Recreation Center, 8620 Jackson Springs Road, Town 'n Country. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., for adults and families. Call: 813-554-5064.
- Wimauma Community Center, 5705 Hillsborough St., Wimauma. Doors open at 6 p.m., for adults and families. Call: 813-635-3500
- Five Things To Know About Volunteering at the Cold-Weather Shelter