With temperatures forecast to hover around the 40 degree mark Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, cold weather shelters have opened in Pensacola and Milton.
Brian Nall, the Pastor at Ferris Hill Baptist Church, says they’ve been opening the church’s doors for seven years when the weather turns frigid. He says the shelter is a part of their larger Benevolence Ministry.
Those who would like to stay at the shelter must arrive between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. No I-D is required, but nobody will be admitted after 8:30 p.m. unless brought in by law enforcement. The shelter closes at seven o’clock each morning. Nall says anyone who needs shelter for the night is welcome, but pets are not allowed.
Cold weather shelters in Santa Rosa County are operated by local churches utilizing volunteer resources and donations. They’re open each night when nighttime temperatures are projected to drop below 40 degrees -- typically December through March. Nall says they’re fortunate in that they’ve managed to acquire new partners the past seven years to help them provide a place to go.
Waterfront Rescue Mission in Pensacola is also gearing up for an expected higher number of people coming in the next couple of nights.
Those with heating issues who decide to stay in their homes are advised to use extreme caution. Four people at a Pensacola residence died of carbon monoxide poisoning earlier this month. City Fire Marshal David Allen says the cause appears to be a space heater connected to a propane bottle.
Allen says be sure to read all of the manufacturers’ recommendations and safety warnings on how to use their heating devices.
Ferris Hill Baptist Church is located at 6848 Chaffin St. in Milton; Waterfront Rescue Mission is at 380 West Herman Street in Pensacola.