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Cold weather shelters open in Southwest Florida for people seeking refuge

Posted at 2:09 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 06:24:05-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.  — The National Weather Service is forecasting near-freezing temperatures Wednesday morning, and shelters all over the country have opened their doors giving the homeless a safe and warm place to sleep.

David Bernau lives in the woods, and advises everyone to stay out of the frigid temperatures. “This is the coldest night of the year, and I’m advising you guys this is life or death. If you are out there you’re going to freeze to death, ” said David Bernau.

The Homeless Coalition of Charlotte County in partnership with the Red Cross has opened for people seeking refuge from the cold. “We have blankets and cots...we have snacks and its a bit more comfortable for people who don’t need to be sleeping outside tonight” Tina Fogliuolo.

Bernau says he’s seen people die from the cold temperatures, and he is not taking any chances. “I’m 60-year-old and I’m getting a little boney don’t have the means like i used to and I got to come in, ” said David Bernau.

He says he is thankful to receive a hot meal and shelter, whereas so many others may not. “There’s a lot of people, over 350, living in the woods right now, two miles away from here. So its important to have places like this, ” said Bernau.

This woman says homeless people are so often exiled from society, but this organization has made them feel like family. ”The homeless are kind of pushed out but, we’re good people, we have real needs, we’re amazing people really, ” said Michon.

If you or someone you know is in need of shelter, call the United Way Hotline at 211 or check out our list of local shelters here.