A cold weather shelter for the homeless or heatless will be open Thursday, Jan. 28 at Ferris Hill Baptist Church, 6848 Chaffin St. in Milton. Those who would like to stay at the shelter must arrive between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. No one will be admitted after 8:30 p.m. unless brought in by law enforcement. The shelter closes at 7 a.m. the following morning.
Santa Rosa County’s cold weather shelters are operated by local churches utilizing volunteer resources and donations. They open when weather is forecasted to drop below 40 degrees, typically December through March. The shelters are for people who are homeless or cannot maintain heat in their home, can care for themselves, and are not at risk to themselves or others. No one will be admitted to the shelter if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are unable to walk unaided or are disoriented.
Sole cold-weather shelter in county fills crucial need
Ferris Hill Baptist Church in Milton began offering cold-weather shelters eight years ago. It was started because the church saw a need for it.
“The pastor felt like having one was the right thing to do,” said Tom Turman, a member of the church and a volunteer at the shelters. “It’s one of the many ministries we do.”
The cold-weather shelter at Ferris Hill is the only one in Santa Rosa County. It is open each night that the temperature drops below 40 degrees.
The shelters are open to the homeless or people who cannot maintain heat in their homes. Turman said sometimes travelers passing through will stay as well.
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