WUFT News

As temperatures drop, overburdened St. Francis House opens doors to Gainesville homeless

By on March 28th, 2013

Several chilly nights across North Central Florida have come as a surprise for late March.

At the St. Francis House in Gainesville, staff and volunteers are working to ensure that those who can’t always get out of the cold have a place to go.

One employee, Director of Operations Lee Smith, has had a busy week.

“One night, we had as many as 54 people here, and the average is in the high 30s,” he said. “It keeps us a lot busier, and we have to be a little more resourceful.”

When temperatures dip below 45 degrees, they open their doors to anyone needing protection from the cold. That policy comes as welcome relief to those like Keith Martin, who has stayed at the shelter all week.

“Blankets, you stay warm, a bed,” he said, “it gives you a different feel than being out in the wide open.”

Martin, like other overnight residents, received a warm bed for the night and a hot breakfast the next day.

“(With) these unfortunate temperatures, you have somewhere to go for warmth and a feel of home,” Martin said.

Still, these unexpected cold snaps take a toll on St. Francis House.

“We’re cooking for that many more people,” Smith said, “so it does put a drain on our resources.”

St. Francis House is currently seeking breakfast item donations and bath towels. Those items can be dropped off at their Gainesville office, 413 S. Main Street.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Teacher Conference Aims to Bring Global Perspective Into Classrooms

Gainesville Connected, a conference in Gainesville, aims to equip teachers to engage students on global issues such as poverty.


Anna Claire (left) and Katie Scarlett (right) are two capuchin monkeys that were once pets but now live in the Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. Scarlett is blind and Claire is diabetic.

Primate Sanctuaries Feel Stresses of Insufficient Funding

Sanctuaries are struggling to take in primates as researchers and pet owners forgo euthanasia for better homes.


Oct. 23, 2014: Afternoon News in 90

A video roundup of local, state and national stories for readers in North Central Florida.


The Ocala City Council voted not to renew Matthew Brower's contract as city manager on Tuesday. Brower's current contract will expire on Dec. 21.

Ocala City Manager’s Contract Not Renewed

The request to reappoint Matthew Brower as Ocala’s city manager was rejected on a three-to-two vote by the Ocala City Council. Brower was appointed city manager in February 2011, and his contract will now expire on Dec. 21.


Victoria Rusinov administers FluMist to a child at the Control Flu clinic at Littlewood Elementary School.

CDC Studies Effects of Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Over Traditional Shot for Children

Recent studies suggests a nasal spray form of the flu vaccine is more effective than the flu shot in healthy children ages 2 to 8, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments