Duval County

Jacksonville organizations work to keep homeless community warm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For Kirk, living on the streets of Jacksonville has been his way of life since November 2018. But Monday will be a long, rough night as Jacksonville approaches freezing temperatures for the first time this year.

“Keep yourself busy, try and stay warm,” Kirk said. “I got my blanket right here. Yeah I got insulation, gloves and my thick hat.”

Kirk is one of dozens of people Action News Jax found living on the streets in Downtown Jacksonville. Several prepared to embrace the cold night ahead.

On Wednesday, the Changing Homelessness organization will hold their annual point-in-time count event, where volunteers find how many people are considered homeless in Northeast Florida.

The 2018 report gave a total of 1,654 homeless people in Northeast Florida, which is better than previous years.

Changing Homeless will be holding the next point-in-time count Wednesday Jan. 22. They are currently asking for more volunteers.

Throughout the year, local organizations have offered shelter, food and other resources to help those without a home.

As the freezing temperatures approach, Hotdogs for Hope Ministry volunteers have prepared warm meals, blankets and Bibles to pass out to those in Jacksonville.

“We’re near 8th and Pearl. Behind these doors are volunteers preparing dozens of meals for the homeless. It’s through another local organization who actively works to feed and shelter those living on the streets.

“At times like this, people are most receptive to doing something different with their lives and receiving hope,” Mike Linkenauger said. “That’s really what we want to bring people is some hope.

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