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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Shelters open as temperatures drop in Gainesville

Local shelters have opened to provide warmth for the homeless as temperatures approach freezing.

Gainesville activated its Cold Night Shelter Program from Tuesday night to Thursday night because of the weather, according to a press release.

Overnight temperatures in Gainesville are expected to dip as low as 32 degrees with a freeze warning in effect as near as Lake City, said Nate McGinnis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Jacksonville.

There was a sharp decrease in temperature between Monday and Tuesday, with temperatures dropping from 41 to 32 degrees, McGinnis said.

St. Francis House, at 413 S. Main St., and Grace Marketplace, at 3055 NE 28th Drive, are offering services during the Cold Night Program. Jon DeCarmine, the Grace director, said he expected more than 30 people to seek warmth at the shelter Tuesday night.

Families, women and children can find shelter at St. Francis House, while Grace Marketplace provides relief for individual adults, the release said. Both locations will provide food, showers, laundry services and a place to sleep.

The temperature threshold for the Cold Night Shelter is 45 degrees, the release said. The program is typically available from early November through the end of March.

The low tonight is 33 degrees and 43 for Thursday, McGinnis said. The temperature will be a high of 57 Friday.

Contact Kyle Wood at kwood@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter at @kkylewood

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