Cold weather shelters open up in SWFL ahead of plunging temps

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:

Cold temperatures are moving into Southwest Florida from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. To address the frigid temperatures that may be the lowest in the last two years, cold weather shelters will be opening up for people in need.

Trudy Wahl has lived in Southwest Florida for the last 45 years and is currently homeless. Wahl said she will stay overnight at a bus stop.

“Too many nights to count on the street,” Wahl, 75, said. “No bed. No water. No heat. No home. “It’s going to be colder tonight, I know. But there’s nothing we can do about it.”

MORE: Your latest Southwest Florida weather forecast

Wahl’s story is sadly not rare, many are living one paycheck away from being homeless. Cold weather shelters are opening across Southwest Florida for that reason and they need donations to continue helping those less fortunate. WINK News compiled a list of shelters that have announced they will be open to the public.

On Tuesday shelters in Labelle and Clewiston will open at 7 p.m. Those seeking shelter must be in place by 12 a.m. or the facility will close and volunteers will be released. The Clewiston shelter is at the Janet B. Taylor Auditorium at 1100 S. Olympia St. While the Labelle shelter is at the United Way House at 133 N. Bridge St.

The Homeless Coalition, 1476 Kenesaw St., Port Charlotte, will be available to provide shelter to persons needing refuge from the cold. The shelter will be open from 7:00 p.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. Wednesday. The American Red Cross will be supporting the shelter with cots and blankets.

Heritage Baptist Church located on 27 N. Polk Ave. in Arcadia will open its doors tonight for those seeking shelter from the cold weather. Heritage Baptist Church is located directly to the south of the Post Office in Arcadia.

St. Matthew’s House, which is at 2001 Airport-Pulling Rd., South Naples, Florida 34112.

Immokalee Friendship House, which is at 602 W. Main St Immokalee, Florida 34142.

The Salvation Army in Fort Myers is expanding its shelter capacity by 30 beds to help those without housing avoid the near-freezing temperatures. Center of Hope, 2400 Edison Ave., will accommodate those people from 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Lt. Sarah Nance, the assistant pastor at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, said it is imperative to help those struggling.

“Just by going out and being able to help someone in our community means everything to us because we know there is such a great need out there,” Nance said.

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