As Tampa Bay area expects to see freezing temperatures this week, the Hillsborough County cold weather shelters have opened their doors for the homeless and those who live in homes without adequate heat.


The shelters first opened on Monday, January 2, and will continue to provide assistance to those in need.


Hillsborough County coordinates with these organizations to help provide cold weather shelters when temperatures are predicted to reach 32 or below degrees, including wind chill.


“Last year, cold weather shelters opened 16 days and assisted more than 3,100 individuals,” said County spokesperson Kemly Green.


Green also mentioned that while currently these shelters are well supplied, as the cold season continues the shelters will need donations in order to keep from running out of supplies.


Those interested in donating may do so at the Wimauma Community Center and the Brandon Community Center, both of which are accepting shelter supplies such as disinfectant wipes, disposable cups, coffee, creamer, paper plates, plastic utensils and sugar.


“Those wishing to donate supplies should contact each individual shelter,” Green said.


Meals for the shelters are provided through Metropolitan Ministries. Those wishing to donate non-perishable items should contact Metropolitan Ministries at 209-1000.


Most shelters will close tomorrow around 7 a.m.


The shelters are:


• Wimauma Community Center (Replaces Bethune Park Rural Shelter).

5705 Hillsborough St. in Wimauma

This shelter opens at 6 p.m. and is for adults and families. 635-3500


• Brandon Community Center, 510 E. Sadie St. in Brandon.

This shelter opens at 5:30 p.m. and is for homeless individuals and families with children in the Brandon Area. 635-8179


• Metropolitan Ministries, 2010 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa

This shelter opens at 4 p.m. and is for families. After hours phone: 209-1077


• Salvation Army, 1514 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa

This shelter opens at 4 p.m. and is only for adults.

After hours phone 221-4440

Caption: Brandon residents receive a meal at the Brandon Community Center, located at 510 E. Sadie Street in Brandon, which serves as a cold weather shelter for area residents.

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