Bradenton shelter's weekend busy with colder overnight temperatures

vmannix@bradenton.comJanuary 1, 2013 

BRADENTON -- After experiencing a few busy nights, it may be a quiet New Years Eve at the Salvation Army men's shelter and the family shelter, too.

BayNews 9 meteorologist Mike Clay said overnight temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s, milder than the cold nights that generated overflow at the men's shelter on 14th Street West.

Sunday night, for instance, Salvation Army staff readied 19 sleeping mats for clients.

Saturday night, there were 10 mats.

Friday night, 14.

The family shelter, which has a maximum of five families and six women, has taken in extra three women the past several nights, according to an official.

"Our rule of thumb is when it's projected to be 45 degrees or go below, we can convert pretty quickly to accommodate the extra numbers," said Salvation Army case manager Mike Makar. "We've got 105 beds and with mats on the floor we can take in 120. But if we have to we can go a little higher.

"The most we've ever had was 180."

The family shelter is much smaller.

"We don't have space to do what the men's lodge does, but three extra women is not a problem for us," an official said.

The determination for

preparing the men's shelter for more clients is made between 6-8 p.m.

"People will begin showing up at 4:30 p.m., eat at 5 and if they're staying they check in by 8 p.m.," Makar said. "It depends on the weather and it seems we have had a few colder nights."

The weekend lows were between 42 and 44, according to Clay.

Monday night was expected not be one of them.

"The colder weather is gone for awhile at least through the end of the week," the BayNews 9 meteorologist said.

Which is welcome news to the Salvation Army on New Year's Eve.

"We may have a few less people," Makar said. "It's just another day."

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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