This week, Cold Weather Shelters were opened up in Hillsborough County, due to Florida's annual 'week of winter' where temperatures dropped below 70 degrees and have actually have sustained temperatures below 40 degrees.
A total of 6 shelters spread throughout the county were opened on a nightly basis from Tuesday, January 2nd to Sunday, January 7th. These shelters provided a safe, warm place to stay for the homeless individuals and families, as well as anyone without adequate heating in their homes. Shelters served warm meals and acted as reception centers for cold weather clothing donations from those in the community.
Diana Yang helps out at the Town 'N' County Cold Weather Shelter
USF CERT was activated along with the shelters to provide staffing support to two sites: one shelter in Brandon and one in the Town 'N' Country area. CERT members were quick to schedule shifts at the shelters, working overnight shifts helping register clients, serve food, and care for those staying in the shelters.
CERT volunteers were augmented by volunteers from USF Health and the USF School of Social Work, after their organizations distributed word of the need for additional volunteers.
This successful activation goes to show that no matter the weather, USF CERT members are there for their community.