Red Cross opening cold weather shelters in MC

Posted at 12:45 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 08:05:27-05

The American Red Cross is opening cold weather shelters in Stuart and Indiantown.

Local Red Cross volunteers trained in nursing, mental health services, feeding and mass care/sheltering will be on-site or on-call throughout the evening to support our community.

There is no charge for staying at the cold weather shelters. Shelter residents may not bring illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, any weapons or pets to a cold weather shelter. Individuals needing transportation to the shelter should contact 211 or call (866) 882-2991.

The cold weather shelters will be at the these locations:

•    The Boys & Girls Club | 17375 SW Palm Beach St, Indiantown  FL  
•    Gertrude Waldron Child Day Care Center  | 601 SE Lake St., Stuart FL

We caught up with 60-year-old Robert Vetter, who's been living on the streets for almost a year.

"I was staying on a bench in front of a bank," said Vetter.

He's staying in a cold weather shelter in Stuart for the very first time.

"This afternoon i decided after standing out there it was going to be way too cold to be on the bench tonight," explained Vetter.

Tonight, Vetter and others who stay at the shelter will get a hot meal, a care packet and a cot to sleep on.

Temperatures tonight will dip into the thirties.

"It's just too cold for people to survive," said Mary Armbrust, the shelter manager at the Stuart location. "They don't have any closure or anything."

Armbrust wishes more people with no place to go would come to the shelter.

"I just don't know how to reach everybody," said Armbrust. "They're not available to the normal media contacts so it's just really troubling."

The shelter will stay open until around 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Red Cross suggests the following Cold Weather Safety Tips:

•    Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
•    Make sure you’re wearing a hat that covers your ears.
•    Dress in layers so you can remove a few layers if you get too warm.
•    Recognize the signs of hypothermia – confusion, dizziness, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion, severe shivering, and slurred speech.
•    Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket.
•    Drink warm fluids like hot cider or soup while avoiding caffeine or alcohol.
•    Follow your doctor’s order regarding any strenuous exercise outside if you have cardiac problems or high blood pressure.

For more information, visit the American Red Cross website.