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With another cold blast coming, some Tampa Bay shelters opening

TAMPA — With another cold front bringing lows in the 30s, some bay area cold-weather shelters opened Sunday and officials may reopen them tonight as well.

In Hillsborough County, shelters opened Sunday afternoon and will close about 7 a.m. today. County officials will decide by 10 a.m. if they will reopen.

Tampa was expected to reach a low of 40 degrees Sunday night with Brandon and Ruskin at 36 and 37 degrees respectively, according to Bay News 9.

"No matter what, it's going to feel cold in the morning and you're going to have wind from the north that's going to make it feel even colder," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure.

Temperatures in Pinellas County will be slightly warmer, ranging from 39 degrees in the northern part of the county to 46 degrees in the southern portion, McClure said.

"It's your typical cold front," he said. "The only difference is, it seems to be coming a little bit early this year."

The coldest day this week will be Tuesday, when the high is expected to be only 55 degrees, McClure said. The high will be 58 Wednesday before getting back into the 60s on Thursday and Friday.

On Sunday night, the National Weather Service issued a freeze watch effective from tonight into Tuesday morning for all local counties except Pinellas.

Gregory Rolle, who coordinates shelter services for the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless, said county shelters there are opened when the temperature is forecast to reach down to 40 degrees or colder.

No Pinellas public shelters were open Sunday night, though Rolle said if temperatures drop midweek, the Boys and Girls Club shelter in Pinellas Park should open its doors. Northwest Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg would also be available as a backup, Rolle said.

Last year, shelters in Hillsborough County opened for a total of 31 days and assisted more than 6,000 people, according to county officials.

Here are shelter locations:

Hillsborough County

The Bethune Park Rural Shelter, 5809 Edina St., Wimauma, for adults and families. Call (813) 671-7618.

The Brandon Community Center, 510 E Sadie St., Brandon, for homeless individuals and families with children. Call (813) 635-8179.

Metropolitan Ministries, 2010 N Florida Ave., Tampa, for families. Call (813) 209-1077.

The Salvation Army, 1514 N Florida Ave., Tampa, for adults only. Call (813) 221-4440.

Donations of nonperishable food items can be made through Metropolitan Ministries, which provides meals for those who stay in the Hillsborough shelters. Anyone who wants to make a donation can call (813) 209-1000.

Two of the county's shelters, Bethune Park Rural Shelter and Brandon Community Center, are also accepting donations of shelter supplies such as disinfectant wipes, disposable plates, cups and utensils, coffee, creamer and sugar. Anyone who wants to donate items should contact those shelters.

Homeless shelters in Pasco and Hernando counties say they are open every evening.

Pasco County

Volunteer Way at 10008 Moon Lake Road in New Port Richey will not accept families.

Community Congregational Church at 6533 Circle Drive in Port Richey will also exclude families.

Families are welcome at Home with a Heart at 11736 U.S. 19, Room 161, in Port Richey; the Holy Ground Shelter at 8835 Denton Ave. in Hudson; and the Samaritan Project at 34921 Chauncy Road in Zephyrhills.

Hernando County

Jericho Road Ministries at 1163 Howell Ave., Brooksville, offers shelter to women and families.

Jericho Road Ministries at 1090 Mondon Hill Road offers shelter to single men.

Times staff writer Dominick Tao contributed to this report.

With another cold blast coming, some Tampa Bay shelters opening 12/05/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 6, 2010 7:39am]
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