SARASOTA - Falling temperatures are expected to send homeless people to shelters like the Salvation Army's on 10th Street in Sarasota. It says that it has more than 200 beds in its emergency shelter, and has made arrangements with Sarasota Police for extra oversight so that the shelter can accommodate people it normally cannot accept.
“Some people refuse to sell drugs when they're on property,” says Maj. Ethan Frizzell, Commander of the Salvation Army in Sarasota. People started coming to the shelter before the cold, he says. "We've seen numbers in the last six weeks – looking at the last ten years – that we've never seen before."
Part of that comes from efforts to steer homeless people here for programs that help them get off the street permanently. Another part comes from the Downtown Sarasota Alliance, whose fundraising has lowered the cost of staying a night at the Salvation Army shelter to $1.
"Those who are really unfortunate and want to pull themselves up, we've got to support a place like the Salvation Army," says Victor Scully, Vice Chair of the Alliance's Community Compassion Campaign.