Cold shelters open across SWFL, weather expected below 40 degrees

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:

While we may not be getting the snow, cold weather is here in Southwest Florida. With temperatures expected to dip below 40 tonight, cold weather shelters across Southwest Florida are opening their doors.

Lee County Salvation Army in Fort Myers will open its shelter for the first time this year Sunday.

“For them it really means a lot,” said Russell Rieder, Salvation Army director of operations. “It takes them from temperatures that that are going to be almost freezing tonight and puts them in a warm situation.”

Beds and blankets are set up at the shelter, and people who stay at the shelter will take those blankets with them when they leave tomorrow.

Lee County Emergency Management makes the call to open up the cold shelters when the temperature is set to drop below 40 degrees.

Collier County is also opening a warming center at the Immokalee Sports Complex Sunday night at 505 Escambia Street. The shelter open at 8 p.m. tonight and closes 8 a.m. Monday morning. For more information on the warming center, call 239-253-4673.

Every time the cold shelter opens, the Salvation Army sees between 20 and 60 men, women and children.

The Salvation Army said it is looking for things like blankets, socks and jackets to help keep homeless individuals warm.

Even when demand gets too high, they won’t turn anyone away.

“We don’t turn anybody away,” Rieder said. “We figure it out. We’re going to take care of whoever comes in tonight.

The shelter will open at 7 p.m. at 2476 Edison Ave in Fort Myers. For more information the shelter, call  (239) 334-3745.

Salvation Army will also be providing people with warm coffee and breakfast Monday morning.

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