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Central Florida Shelters Add Beds During Cold Front

James-w-blankets.jpg
Courtesy Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless.
Staff and residents sort items donated by the community to keep the area's homeless warm.

Central Florida’s homeless shelters are preparing extra beds for tonight as a cold front passes through the area. The front is expected to bring lows below 40 degrees.

Muffet Robinson, spokeswoman for the Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless, says the organization houses around 600 guests on most days. However, tonight, the staff is expecting more guests.

“Cold is…it’s an anomaly in Florida and it’s different, so if someone is out on the street, or if they’re out in a place where there’s no heat, they can come in.”

Many guests will be men. Staff is also expecting women, children, and whole families. They are asking for blankets and sleeping bags from the public to accommodate guests.

The Orlando Union Rescue Mission and Salvation Army in downtown Orlando also plan to open their doors tonight.

--Renata Sago is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE  is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.