The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners has announced that a cold weather shelter for the homeless or heatless will open Thursday at Ferris Hill Baptist Church, located at 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. each morning.

Santa Rosa County's cold weather shelters are operated by local churches utilizing volunteer resources and donations. They open each night when weather is forecast 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.