PHILADELPHIA – The nights are warmer, but homeless people are still spending nights in three all-night drop-in centers started as cold-weather havens in Philadelphia.
The city has agreed to continue funding the "overnight cafes," even though they were scheduled to close for the season on Monday. They don't have beds, only soup, coffee and chairs. But more than 150 people still use the cafes most nights.
About 3,500 homeless people and families spend nights in city shelters with beds. The cafes tend to attract street-dwellers who consider the shelters dangerous or undesirable.
The Rev. Bill Golderer of Philadelphia's Broad Street Ministry said he fears economic problems and joblessness may mean more people living on the streets. Last summer's street census reached 621, the highest in a decade.