Sulzbacher Center prepares for larger crowd on cold night | News
Jacksonville, Fla. --- The Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless opens a cold night shelter for the area homeless as overnight temperatures dip below 40 degrees.
"When you ain't got nothing and they are good people, they've been good to me and I'm grateful for it," says Edward Cook, a resident at the Sulzbacher Center.
Edward Cook is one of many residents at the Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless who will have a warm place to stay Saturday night. On a night where temperatures are expected to drop as low as 23 degrees inland, the Sulzbacher Center opens the shelter up to anyone needing a place to rest.
"We don't want anyone to be sleeping in their car or on the streets when its weather that's under 40 degrees so we just feel like we're doing the best that we can," says Brian Snow, Shelter Service Administrator, Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless.
Bruce Poole used to go back and forth between living in the streets and the center, but a few months ago made the decision to join the Sulzbacher program and become a resident.
"I wanted to do better for myself, I was just tired of the way I was living, tired of the way things were going," says Poole.
The Center already has 340 residents, but opens up temporary sleeping areas like dining rooms and provides sleeping palettes and blankets for usually about 30 to 40 extra people on very cold nights. Poole says he's grateful to know he has somewhere to sleep every night.
"Because I could still be on the streets, still have nowhere to go, still be hungry, cold," says Poole.
But some still choose to fight the cold and say outside...
"I guess I like my freedom," says Keith Echevarria. "I've got a little spot where I've got a sleeping bag and I've got two or three blankets."
The center still provides hot meals for those who choose the streets over the shelter on cold nights and they will continue having cold shelter nights while the temperatures are below 40.