Santa Rosa County is expanding hours at its cold weather shelter for the homeless or heatless. The shelter will be open 24 hours a day, starting at 4 p.m. today, according to Brandi Whitehurst, Santa Rosa County Public Information Officer.
Per Whitehurst, the shelter will be open 24 hours a day through at least Saturday morning, possibly longer.
The shelter is normally opened up in the evenings, but day-time hours have been included due to weather forecasts calling for unseasonably colder temperatures through the weekend.
Additionally, Whitehurst said the shelter will be open Saturday and Sunday night, and officials will later assess whether or not to open the shelter on Monday.
During evening-hour operations, 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. each morning.
The shelter is located at Ferris Hill Baptist Church at 6848 Chaffin St. in Milton.
Santa Rosa County’s cold weather shelter is operated by Ferris Hill Baptist Church, utilizing volunteer resources and donations. It opens each night weather is forecasted to drop below 40 degrees, typically December through March. The shelter is 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 who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unable to walk unaided or disoriented.