Officials looking into what it would entail to build a warming station in Walton County
With temperatures dropping as the days grow shorter and darker, being outside for any length of time can be an uncomfortable experience. This is even more true for those who aren’t there out of choice, as winter can be a dangerous season for Walton County’s homeless population.
Things are looking up locally, though, for those who work to help the homeless. Cindy Little, executive director of Faith In Serving Humanity, said they’re in better shape to lend a helping hand thanks to several developments in the last year. The biggest, Little said, was that there are more places for the homeless to go to find shelter this season.
“The shelters that were closed this time last year are open again,” Little said. “We can send people there again.”
While Walton County has no homeless shelter, as such, FISH has often sent homeless individuals to shelters in surrounding counties when necessary, an option that was unavailable during the pandemic and its long aftermath but has become a viable choice once more.
But Little said they’re working to do more within the county, as well.
“We were given an ambulance by the Walton County Board of Commissioners,” Little said. “We’re getting it reworked so it doesn’t look like an ambulance and we’ll be using it to deliver hot meals to those who need them.”
Little said they also aid those who live out of their car, providing those people with extra gas money and other assistance. There’s only so much they can do for some homeless people, she admitted, but they do what they can for them.
“There are those who choose to be outside,” Little said. “But we’re handing out extra shopping bags, coats, blankets, socks and other needs. We’re also looking into building a warming station as we determine all that would entail.”
Little said FISH works hard to help all those who need it and the homeless population in Walton is a group they’re deter- mined to aid as they can.
“We’re doing everything we can to meet their basic needs,” Little said