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Cold weather shelters to open on the Suncoast

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Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014 3:00 pm | Updated: 3:40 pm, Mon Jan 6, 2014.

SARASOTA COUNTY, FL- With the dropping temperatures comes the opening of some cold weather shelters. Many who have taken refuge in nearby woods are now looking for a warm place to sleep tonight.

Three of the four locations are in south Sarasota County. Another one just into Charlotte County at the Homeless Coalition.

Monday morning that's where we found people picking up some extra clothing. Shelters have been getting cots brought to them by the American Red Cross. It's believed there are dozens of homeless camps in our area. Some live there by choice and know to be prepared. Others though are new to the struggle and don't know where to turn. Especially with the rapid change in our weather from just this afternoon.

Some like 23 year old Jarrett Bray from North Port who's homeless is taking advantage. "Being able to take a shower and actually get good sleep."

Michael Overway with the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition says they're offering a warm place to sleep.

"We offer services to guys who have been in the woods for 10 plus years but really our concern is for families. We know we have families living in tents and in cars."

It's believed in Sarasota and in Charlotte County there are more than 2,000 people who are considered homeless. Just in our area we are told there are more than 60 homeless camps.

Sarasota County and Charlotte County Emergency Management have coordinated with the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army to provide cold weather sheltering for those in need. The following shelters will be open today at 6 p.m. and again on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m.:

Sarasota

Salvation Army - Center of Hope, 1400 Tenth St., Sarasota, FL 34236

Venice

Center of Hope Church, 1216 East Venice Ave., Venice, FL 34285

Englewood

St. David's Episcopal Church, 401 South Broadway, Englewood, FL 34223

North Port

New Hope Community Church, 5600 South Biscayne Dr., North Port, FL 34287

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