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Cold weather shelters to open across the Tampa Bay area for Christmas weekend temperature drop

The shelters in Pinellas County will be open Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 6 p.m. and Hillsborough shelters will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
 
People stay warm outside the Boys & Girls Club cold night shelter in Tarpon Springs on a frigid January night in 2020. The facility will be open as a cold weather shelter again during Christmas Weekend 2022 as temperatures dip into the 30s.
People stay warm outside the Boys & Girls Club cold night shelter in Tarpon Springs on a frigid January night in 2020. The facility will be open as a cold weather shelter again during Christmas Weekend 2022 as temperatures dip into the 30s. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | TImes (2020) ]
Published Dec. 21, 2022|Updated Dec. 23, 2022

With overnight temperatures forecast to dip into the mid-30s, Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties are all planning to open cold-weather shelters during Christmas weekend for the Tampa Bay area’s homeless population.

The National Weather Service predicts temperatures will plunge below freezing in Hillsborough and Pasco counties, and be in the mid-to-upper 30s in Pinellas County. This weekend has the potential to be the coldest Christmas in the Tampa Bay area in nearly three decades.

Pinellas County is asking for volunteers to help staff the shelters this weekend.

The pop-up cold night shelters open when the “feels like” temperature drops below 40 degrees, according to the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas’ website. The shelters provide a place to sleep and most provide a meal.

Families seeking shelter from the cold in Pinellas County should call 2-1-1 for help. They will be referred to family shelters in St. Petersburg or Clearwater if space is available.

The alliance said on Wednesday that it is considering opening shelters Sunday night as well.

Pinellas County shelters will be open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the following locations:

- Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast: 111 W Lime St., Tarpon Springs

- First United Methodist Church: 411 Turner St., Clearwater

- The Refuge Outreach Church: 606 Alden Ave., Clearwater

- Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast: 7790 61st St. N, Pinellas Park

- Northwest Church: 6330 54th Ave. N, St. Petersburg

- WestCare Turning Point: 1810 5th Ave. N, St. Petersburg

- Unitarian Universalist Church: 100 Mirror Lake Dr. N, St. Petersburg

- The Salvation Army: 1400 4th St. S, St. Petersburg (open from 6 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.)

Hillsborough County spokesperson Chris Wilkerson said the county activates cold weather shelters when “feels like” temperatures drop below 40, and they are anticipating that to occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Wilkerson said Hillsborough County is expanding its number of cold weather shelters compared to previous weather events. The locations are:

- Amazing Love Ministries  3304 E. Columbus Dr., Tampa

- Church of God of Prophecy Hyde Park, 107 S. Oregon Ave., Tampa

- Greater New Hope Church Anointed Ministries (Prayer Retreat Center), 2104 Mud Lake Rd., Plant City

- Homeless Helping Homeless, 801 E. Saint Clair St., Tampa

- Homeless Helping Homeless, 3008 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa

- Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St., Tampa

- New Life Church, 8216 N. 13th St., Tampa (pet friendly)

- Tampa Bay Mission of Hope, 212 St. Cloud Ave., Building A, Valrico

Also in Hillsborough, Metropolitan Ministries and Generations Renewed are supplying a limited number of single-night motel vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis for families with minor children. Pre-registration is required by calling the numbers below. Phone lines turn on at 9 a.m., and the deadline to call is 5 p.m.

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- Families in Tampa, call 813-209-1176

- Families in Plant City, call 813-562-4495

Pasco County cold weather shelters are available on both sides of the county on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, but with limited space. Those wishing to utilize the shelters should call the Coalition for the Homeless of Pasco County at 727-842-8605. The “cold weather sheltering” option is ext. 2.

There will not be transportation to the Pasco County shelters and there will not be food provided.