Cold weather shelters prepare to open in Brevard County

By Caitlin Wilson, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, January 01, 2018, 8:40 PM EST

Central Florida is bracing for a cold weather front later this week. We’ll likely see temperatures dip to the lowest so far this season.

Cold weather shelters in Brevard County are preparing for the influx of people they expect to see over the coming week.

“We’re preparing for the coldest weather we’ve seen in quite a while. What we’ve learned over the years is that when we have close to freezing weather like this, the more and more people come,” said Pastor Terry Morris of His Place Ministries in Melbourne.

Their staff is no stranger to cold weather this year, so preparing comes naturally.

Days ahead of the cold front they’re organizing food, mats, clothes and blankets in bulk. Wednesday's chilly temperatures will likely drop down to the 30s.

“Our last spell this year we had five nights in a row where we averaged around 70 people per night. But if it’s going to be as cold as they say it will, those numbers will go up,” Morris said.

In fact, the shelter expects at least a 100 people per night, if not more.

They say if that’s the case, they’ll have to open different parts of the church to accommodate that large a group. That means they’ll need plenty of volunteers.

“Any time we run a lot of nights in a row, we use between 20 to 25 volunteers a night, so we use them up pretty quickly,” Morris said. ”Get involved, it’s a great opportunity to help those less fortunate.”

If you’d like to volunteer you can reach out to His Place Ministries. The group is also asking for donations of clothes, food and especially blankets.

The group typically likes to stock around 1,000 blankets at a time during the winter season.

Along with His Place Ministries in Melbourne, you can find cold weather shelters in Titusville at the North Brevard Coalition of Human Services Disabled Veterans Center (435 N Singleton Ave Titusville, FL 32796), and in Cocoa at the Central Brevard Sharing Center (113 Aurora Street Cocoa, FL 32922).