Cold Weather Shelters Open in Walton County - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Cold Weather Shelters Open in Walton County

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Volunteers opened the doors of the Defuniak Springs Community Center to give citizens a warm place to sleep Wednesday night.

"We have folks, neighbors, friends, and family members, who may be homeless and need shelter in cold weather, and we also have large groups in our community who live in older homes that don't have insulation," said Frank Day, a shelter volunteer.

Whether just one person or as many as 40 need a place to stay, The Matrix, a community outreach center, opens the community center located at 361 North 10th Street off S.R. 83 North when the temperature drops below freezing.

Guests are invited to stay from 5:30 in the evening until 7:00 in the morning. 

Everyone is invited to come.

"Just come dressed as you are," said Day. "We have cots and blankets provided by the Red Cross."

Volunteers also provide movie entertainment, snacks, and breakfast in the morning.

A number of volunteers also stay throughout the night to provide company and help where needed.

Walton County Emergency Management Director Russell Beaty said he's thankful to see people come together to help their neighbors.

"We've been blessed that we do have an energetic group of volunteers at the moment that have helped out these last few cold snaps, but that need is a constant need, and we want to keep those people interested and those who might be interested in stepping up and helping out."

The group, Vortex of Volunteers, also opened a shelter in Santa Rosa Beach at the Coastal Branch Library at 437 Greenway Trail.

Volunteers said they'll likely open the shelters on Friday when temperatures are expected to drop again.

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