The Sheltering Tree will open a cold-weather shelter Sunday and Monday nights, Jan. 16-17, at the Church on the Rock not only for the homeless, but for anyone who is without heat. Flagler County officials urge residents to take advantage of this option if the alternative is using a heating method that could pose a fire hazard.
“Space heaters need space – at least 3 feet – away from anything that can burn,” said Flagler County Fire Marshal Jerry Smith. “This space should also be a kid-free zone.”
Other home-heating safety tips include:
- Never use the oven to heat the home
- Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
- Screen fireplaces to contain sparks
“We also ask that you ‘close’ the bedroom door ‘before you doze,’” Smith said. “It will help to keep heat in the room and if fire breaks out, it buys you time to get out of the house. A fire needs oxygen to burn. A closed door keeps more oxygen in the room and away from the fire.”
The criteria for opening the cold-weather shelter is based on an overnight temperature that dips below 40 degrees.
Church on the Rock is located at 2200 N. State Street. The cold-weather shelter will open at 5:30 p.m. each evening and will close at 8 a.m. the following day.
Transportation is available for those who need it through Flagler County. There are two routes that follow the schedules below:
- Hidden Trails Community Center, 3 p.m.
- Espanola Community Center, 3:30 p.m.
- Bunnell Free Clinic, 4 p.m.
- First United Methodist Church in Bunnell, 4:30 p.m.
- Veteran’s Park Flagler Beach, 3 p.m.
- Flagler County Social Services, 3:15 p.m.
- A1A Tennis Center, 5633 N Oceanshore Blvd., 3:30 p.m.
- Dollar Tree (by Carrabas), 4:10 p.m.
- Palm Coast Main Branch Library, 4:30 p.m. (possibly as late as 4:40 p.m. depending on traffic)
The Sheltering Tree, 386-437-3258, is under the umbrella of the Flagler County Family Assistance Center and is a non-denominational civic organization that was created in 2011 to provide cold-weather sheltering during cold nights in Flagler County.