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‘I’d like to help others out’: Cold weather shelters open across NCFL

‘I’d like to help others out’: Cold weather shelters open across NCFL
‘I’d like to help others out’: Cold weather shelters open across NCFL(WCJB)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 10:36 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - As overnight temperatures drop across North Central Florida, cold night shelters, including the only one in Lake City, are opening.

“The homeless population that are here, we want to be able to do whatever we can to help meet their needs,” Pastor Mike Tatem said.

Pastor of Parkview Baptist Church Mike Tatem and his congregation decided five years ago lake city needed a cold weather shelter.

“We want to be able to provide a warm meal, a warm shower and a warm place to stay,” Tatem said.

They team up with United Way to have toiletries, socks, blankets and cots for people without a warm place to stay anytime the temperatures drop below 35 degrees.

“We’ll have maybe some pizza or maybe just something that we can order,” Tatem said. “In longer cold spells we’ll be able to provide a meal. We have a full-service kitchen.”

They also serve breakfast.

Pastor Tatem said they’ll be open some days next week as well.

“It looks like there may be about a four or five-day cold snap that we’ll open every night during that time as well,” Tatem said.

Volunteers with the church say they’re happy to lend a hand and help others.

“God blessed me, so I’d like to help others out too,” Robert Smith said. “We’re supposed to help everybody out. We’re brothers in Christ so I like to help other people out when I can.”

While not many people showed up, they said it’s important to open their doors

“Certainly overnight it’ll just get colder so it’ll be miserable,” Larry Breeden added.

The shelter isn’t only open to those in need of a home. Pastor Tatem said families who are without sufficient heating in their homes are also welcome.

“We’re told to love God and to love our neighbors,” Breeden said. “So, this is just one way that we can demonstrate in a tangible way a love for our community and a love for the people that are around us.”

Guest can come as early as 5:30 p.m. at their location at 268 Northwest Lake Jeffery Road, Lake City.

Shelters in Gainesville and Ocala will also be open.

People are welcome at the Saint Francis House at 7 p.m. at 413 South Main Street Gainesville.

The Salvation Army’s shelter is open at 5 p.m. for food and 7 p.m. to stay at 3055 Northeast 28th Avenue, Gainesville.

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