Become a cold weather shelter partner to provide shelter for our most vulnerable population during program activation


The purpose of the Cold Weather Shelter (CWS) Partnership Program is to offer organizations a stipend to support the costs associated with community led efforts in providing shelter for our most vulnerable population when the CWS Plan is activated.

 The CWS Plan is activated during the cold weather season and will be utilized on nights when the temperature, measured at the Plant City Municipal Airport, dips to 40 degrees or below including wind chill between 6 PM and 6 AM.

The target population includes persons who either lack shelter or have insufficient heating in their home.

Key dates

The key dates for the 2023-2024 CWS application process will be announced in early fall 2023.

  • Application Release – Monday, Oct 16, 2023 
  • Initial Application Deadline – Friday, October 27, 2023
  • Partner Notification – Week of November 6, 2023
  • Letter of Understanding Notification – November 17, 2023
  • Mandatory Cold Weather Shelter Meeting - Thursday, November 29, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Seminole Heights Library 
  • CWS Wrap-Up Meeting - Monday, April 25, 2024 –- Location TBD

Things to consider

  • Organizations submitting this application are applying for a financial stipend to support their operations that will provide capacity for a minimum of fifteen (15) nights of cold weather shelter activation during the 2023 - 2024 winter season
    • If your organization has funding to support this initiative and no additional funds are needed, please complete the form so that we can have an official record of your facility, capacity, etc. on file
  • Partners will be given preference if their service area includes a higher population of vulnerable individuals

  • See chart/map at the bottom of the application from the 2020 Annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count
  • Applications will close as locations have been identified to meet the needs in the target areas
  • All partnerships for funding will be subject to available funding and contingent on the facility passing property inspection


  • Community Partner must be at a 501c3, Business, Faith-Based Organization, Shelter, or Community Service Provider and in good standing with the State of Florida
  • Facility to include Congregate Shelter and/or Motels must be in Hillsborough County
  • Congregate shelters must have capacity to provide overnight accommodations for a minimum of 10 persons, except for motels which can be multiple locations without a minimum and subject to availability (any changes to an alternate congregate facility must be approved by County Department Director)
  • Safety protocols must be adhered to according to CDC guidelines (regarding COVID 19). Partners may enforce stricter protocols regarding COVID 19
  • Organization must secure a facility that includes:
    • Heat
    • Plumbing
    • Electricity
    • Male/Female Restrooms
  • Organizations must provide food for each guest to include:
    • A hot meal or individually boxed dinner
    • Cold and/or Hot beverages (including water)
    • Take-Away Breakfast
  • Organizations must provide staff and/or volunteers to handle:
    • Logistics (Set up of congregate shelter or motel shelter arrangements)
    • Registration
    • Meal Pick-Up and Distribution
    • Secure Storage of Belongings
    • Overnight Supervision (congregate shelter only)
    • Clean-up
    • Egress from Shelter
  • Organizations must have a security plan to include overnight at congregate shelters from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Facility must pass or have passed an annual inspection by Hillsborough County Code Enforcement or provide completed inspection report pre-approved by the Department.
  • Community Partner must show proof of insurance showing liability coverage with limits of at least $100,000 (prior to award unless site is in a County Facility)
  • Organizations that will provide a congregate and non-congregate site must complete each respective section of the application.


Congregate shelters

Each shelter is required to have heat, plumbing, electricity, male/female restrooms, and capacity to temporary house persons.

Stipends will be adjusted (decreased) for an organization utilizing a Hillsborough County facility. If you are utilizing a County facility for your shelter, your stipend will decrease by $2,000 for shelters with a capacity of 41 or greater and decrease by $1,000 for shelters with a capacity of 40 or lower.

Distribution of stipend for congregate shelters will be distributed in two (2) payments:

  • 50% of Congregate Shelter Award will be distributed after the execution of the Letter of Understanding or award document
  • The remaining 50% of the Congregate Shelter Award will be distributed at the end of the Cold Weather Season (mid-March 2024)


Stipend Amount

Up to 10


11 - 20


21 - 30


31 - 40


41 - 60


61 - 80


Non-Congregate Shelter - Motel Rooms (Vouchers)

Motel Rooms – Vouchers will be provided at motels identified and screened by the applicant for persons as temporary shelter. Motel Rooms must include be licensed to operate in Hillsborough County and include basic operational amenities to include but not limited to bed, linen, access to heat, and bathrooms.

Agencies will receive administrative fees based on the projected number of persons to be served per activation.

Distribution of stipend for non-congregate shelters will be distributed in two (2) payments:

  • 50% of the Administration Fee will be distributed after the execution of the Letter of Understanding or award document
  • The remaining 50% of the Administration Fee will be distributed at the end of the Cold Weather Season (mid-March 2024)
  • The request for reimbursement for Non-Congregate Sheltering can be submitted no more than once per week to Julie Watkinson
  • The request for payment must include an invoice and the following:
    • A List of the names of individuals staying at the motel each night
    • Documentation supporting the actual payments to the motels


Stipend Amount

Up to 25


26 - 50


51 - 75




How to

  1. Review the eligibility requirements
  2. Fill out the online application

Get help

Department: Homeless Services
Phone: (813) 274-6834

Last Modified: 2/5/2024, 6:28:02 PM

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