DAYTONA BEACH, Fla -- With overnight temperatures hovering at freezing, at least 50 of Daytona's chronic homeless had to fend for themselves with the bitter cold and a wind chill that made it feel like 28 degrees. Sadly, half those homeless folks were elderly, among the most susceptble to the bitter cold temps, with ages ranging from 60s to early 80s.
"It's so sad and its so disgusting," said "Pastor Mike" Pastore, a street preacher and homeless advocate who, along with several volunteers provided these shivering folks with hot coffee just after darkness.
The city has forbidden the setting up of tents, a vital life-saving tool iin shielding a person from the wind. Most literally hasdd heavy coats or light jackets with sebvveral layers of shirts. Some openly wept because of the stinging cold to their fingers and toes, with most covering their hands with socks.
"This is what it has come down to,"Pastore said angrily. "They don't care at City Hall. All they do do is talk, talk, talk, and shut us down." And while there is renewed talk of a new homesss shelter plan, among several debated in the last three years bwetween city and county officials, homess advocates and church leaders as well as other ancillary groups, another winter qwill have come and gone with the homeless suffering and no relief in sight, considering in laste January and throughout February it is not unsual for the coastal areas to see a hard frost.
Half of 50 or so homeless folks turned away from Daytona shelters were elderly as old as 85, who had to fend for themselves in freezing conditions with temps at 28, factoring in wind chill. At 5 this morning, the temperatutre had only risen to 37 degrees.
"Pretty sad, human beings sleeping on the sidewalk," Pastore reiterated last night, adding he and Ruth and John Williams from Port Orange United Methodist Church made sure each of the 50 or so homeless folks hadd 1 to 2 cups of hot coffee. "Remember the homeless as you pull your warm covers over you tonight." The church was able to take in some 46 of the 100 homeless looking for a chanve to spend the night indoors somewwhere -- anywhere.
Satuurday night, 100 people were turned away from shelters with temps in the low 30s, Pastore said.
Today A slight chance of sprinkles after 7am. Partly sunny, with a high near 62. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight A slight chance of sprinkles. Partly cloudy, with a low around 50. North northeast wind around 5 mph.
Tuesday A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 70. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tuesday Night A 10 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 56. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Light east wind becoming southeast 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
Wednesday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. East wind 5 to 10 mph.