Temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-40s in Manatee County on Wednesday and Thursday nights. For many of the county’s homeless, it is a time to seek shelter.
Manatee County’s Emergency Management Division coordinates with the Salvation Army to provide beds for those in need.
The Salvation Army shelter, located at 1204 14th St. W., Bradenton, opens its doors from 6-8 p.m. every night to receive temporary lodgers.
The shelter is designed to hold up to 150 people, but it often reaches capacity on cold nights, according to Salvation Army of Manatee County spokeswoman Kelly French.
Space will be made available for 60 additional people on Wednesday night, according to a Manatee County press release.
The temperature is expected to drop to 47 on Wednesday night. Thursday night is forecast to be even colder with a low of 44 .
Beds at the shelter are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and when they run out mats are laid out on the floor.
People who donate goods to the Salvation Army can designate that their donations go specifically to the shelter. Donors are advised to call first to make sure the item is one that the shelter can use. Blankets for those who sleep out in the cold are always in demand.
A 2018 survey conducted by the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness found that there were 545 homeless people in Manatee County. Of those, 340 were in Bradenton, a four percent increase since the previous year’s survey.