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Hernando County shelters prepare for freezing temperatures

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 17, 2018

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — Downtown Brooksville is chilly and getting much colder.

While most can go inside to get warm, that wasn’t an option for Barbara.

“I was in the woods for probably about six months,” she said.

Not that long ago, she was homeless. And when it got cold, it was miserable.

“It’s just blankets, and blankets and socks and you just kind of lay there.”

She was addicted to heroin and alcohol. But then found the women’s shelter at Jericho Road Ministries.

“They took me in here. There are rules but it’s stability. I went to work, got my GED, now I work here.”

That includes making sure others are warm too on very cold nights.

Jericho Road operates 5 different shelters in Brooksville. 

“We are open. And if you have someone that needs shelter tonight we are willing and able to provide that for them. Families too,” said Pastor Bruce Gimbel.

RELATED: Freeze Warnings issued for Tampa Bay

Hernando County officials say Arctic air in the region will mean freezing temperatures and very cold wind chills for up to 7 hours Thursday and Friday nights.

To get ready they say bring pets inside. Cover or move plants that are sensitive to the cold. Let a trickle of water run from faucets. And run pool pumps overnight to prevent damage.

As for Barbara, she knows many of those who are homeless won’t come to Jericho for shelter even when it’s brutally cold. So if she needs to, she’ll seek them out.

“I ask them what they need. I bring them what I can because they are out there freezing.”