Bunnell, FL – The only cold weather shelter in Flagler County is to be shut down by order of the Bunnell Zoning Board. The Sheltering Tree Board Member Sarah Ulis said they were not given any warning to straighten things out that were in question prior to a Zoning Board meeting on May 31. Ulis said they were not given an opportunity to speak effectively to the issues brought before the Zoning Board. She said the closing came as quite a surprise as nothing had been said about problems previously.
The Sheltering Tree has been dedicated to providing thehomeless with food, one-on-one assistance, and cold weather shelter since 2008. Based at Bunnell’s First United Methodist Church, the shelter is dedicated to providing basic needs to the homeless, including food, tents, sleeping bags, and clothing, while helping them make the transition to permanent affordable housing and preventing at-risk individuals from becoming homeless. The cold weather shelter opens for volunteer-supervised overnight stays when the temperature dips below forty degrees. The shelter opened 19 times this past winter.
Ulis said they are regrouping to appeal the decision. A meeting will be held on Monday, June 17, the day before the next meeting of the Zoning Board, to gather volunteers, of which there are about 150, donors and other supporters. to come up with a plan for the appeal.