Pasco, Citrus counties open cold weather shelters Friday

By Stephanie Claytor, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, December 30, 2016, 9:36 PM EST

Citrus and Pasco county officials are opening cold weather shelters Friday night. 

Temperatures in the Bay area's northern counties could dip into the low 30s late Friday and into Saturday. 

In Pasco, the Joining Hands Missions will be open while the Salvation Army in Lecanto will be open in Citrus County.

The Joining Hands Missions at 3333 US Hwy 19 North in Holiday will open at 6 p.m.  

In Lecanto, the Salvation Army location at 712 S. School Avenue opened at 7 p.m. The bus service running on Friday night picked up nearly a dozen people and transported them for free to the shelter.

There, they received a hot dinner, and breakfast, and a cot to sleep on.

Michael Conover of Crystal River said it made a world of a difference. He and his girlfriend had been sleeping in a tent.

“It’s nice to know we’re not sleeping out in the cold tonight," said Conover. "It’s nice to know we’re waking up to a nice warm breakfast. And it's nice to know we’ll be waking up to nice people around us. We’re not out there in the woods.”

Conover said he and his girlfriend started living in a tent a few months ago. 

​​“We got in a car accident a few months back and just haven’t had a steady job and it’s been real rough," Conover said. "Then we lost our house and everything in our house. So we’re starting over with just a tent and some clothes.”

The Salvation Army also provided people visiting the shelter with clothes, hygiene products and resources to help them get their lives back on track.

“We love giving back to people who can’t help you out when you’re in need, so you give to them, and there’s a sense of joy and peace in your heart that you’ve done what you can for your fellow man," said Salvation Army Captain Lynn Irish. 

The Salvation Army will close the shelter Saturday morning, at 7 a.m.   

For more information on the Pasco shelter, contact the Pasco County Government at Office (727) 847-2411 ext 7356. 

In Citrus County, call (352) 513-4961 or (352) 419-3100.