Shelters open in Flagler County, Gainesville for cold weather over next few days

Shelters available for those in the community without heat

File photo

In anticipation of weather dipping below 45 degrees into the 30s over the next couple of days, some portions of our coverage area will be opening cold weather shelters.

Flagler County

The Sheltering Tree will open a cold-weather shelter Friday and Saturday nights at the Church on the Rock not only for those who are homeless but for anyone who is without heat.

The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in the high 30s during the overnight hours on Thursday and Friday. The criteria for opening the cold-weather shelter is based on an overnight temperature that dips below 40 degrees.

“As temperatures approach freezing, serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite can develop or be exacerbated,” said Health and Human Services Director Joseph Hegedus. “We urge those who are unhoused or lack adequate heat at their residence to access the cold-weather shelter. The Sheltering Tree and Church on the Rock will provide cots and meals. Flagler County will be providing transportation to the shelter for those who need it.”

The county will provide bus transportation along two routes, following the schedules below –

  • Dollar General at Publix Town Center, 3:30 p.m.
  • Near the McDonald’s at Old Kings Road South and State Road 100, 4 p.m.
  • Dollar Tree by Carrabba’s and Walmart, 4:30 p.m.
  • Palm Coast Main Branch Library, 4:45 p.m.
  • Dollar General at County Road 305 and Canal Avenue in Daytona North, 4 p.m.
  • Bunnell Free Clinic, 4:30 p.m.
  • First United Methodist Church in Bunnell, 4:30 p.m.

Church on the Rock is located at 2200 N. State St. The cold-weather shelter will open at 5:30 p.m. each evening and will close at 8 a.m. the following day.

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 to provide cold-weather sheltering during cold nights in Flagler County.

Weather and heat safety preparedness tips from Flagler County Emergency Management and Fire Rescue include:

  • Subscribe to Alert Flagler
  • Never use the oven to heat the home
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
  • Screen fireplaces to contain sparks
  • Portable space heaters should be kept 3-feet away from anything that can burn
  • Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed


City of Gainesville officials anticipate severe weather conditions, including temperatures below 45 degrees during evening hours through Saturday.

The anticipated temperatures will lead to the activation of the city’s Cold Night Shelter (CNS) Program, and it is expected to remain in effect until overnight low temperatures rise above 45 degrees. The CNS program normally runs from Nov. 1 through March 31.

St. Francis House and GRACE Marketplace at the Empowerment Center will provide Cold Night Shelter services to people in need of shelter as long as overnight temperatures remain below 45 degrees.

The CNS program providers serve additional persons in need of shelter so that families and individuals desiring shelter will have a warm place to stay.

St. Francis House provides temporary shelter that is appropriate for families, women and children. GRACE Marketplace primarily serves individual adults.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.