Brandon church volunteers helping homeless stay warm, safe during cold snap

BRANDON, Fla. — As Tampa Bay prepares for another night of near-freezing temperatures, volunteers with a local church are working to provide warm shelter for anyone in need. 

Tampa's Salvation Army shelter reached capacity multiple nights this week, so staff bused several people to other area churches and community centers. 

Brandon's Bay Life Church is operating a cold weather shelter at Sadie Park. 

The small, county-owned building is now housing 50 people and counting. 

"It just warms your heart, makes you feel good," said Beth Biafora. "If I was in this position I’d want someone to do this for me.”

Biafora is a retired nurse who still loves helping those in need. 

“We’re getting more people in, they come in wet, they come in dirty, they need to change their clothes," said Biafora. 

It's been a rough week on the cold streets for Eddie Torres, a homeless man who lost both legs to bone cancer. 

“I take my sleeping bag, throw it over myself, stay warm," said Torres. "But other than that, I’m glad they opened this up because out there, it’s cold.”

Volunteers at the Brandon shelter vow, even at capacity, they won't leave anyone out in the cold. 

“They’re human beings, they need to be warm," said Biafora. "It makes you be thankful for what you do have.”

The church is still in need of several donated items, including blankets, warm clothing for men and women, and toiletries.