The 2016 Northeast Florida Community Action Agency’s award cites Traister’s work at the Sheltering Tree, Flagler County’s only homeless shelter on cold nights, which Traister co-founded in 2009.
For eight years First United Methodist Church in Bunnell had been an unofficial day shelter for the homeless. The church’s new leadership is changing that as finances and a different philosophy is compelling a more restrictive approach.
The Point of Lights award vindicates a particularly difficult year when the cold-weather shelter sustained some bitter, often inaccurate criticism from a few Bunnell businesses even as its needs proved more critical.
Carla Traister, director of Flagler County’s cold-weather shelter in Bunnell, dispels misconceptions and stereotypes that have cropped up about the shelter, located in Bunnell behind the Bank of America.
Don’t listen to rumors. See Flagler’s homeless for yourself, hear them speak. Charlotte Martne’s special video report of Flagler County’s cold-weather shelter puts faces behind the stereotypes and dispels a few myths.
Charlie Ericksen Jr., a volunteer at Flagler County’s homeless shelter–The Sheltering Tree–describes the refuge on a recent cold night.
The Sheltering Tree in Bunnell has already had to open 22 nights this cold season, with many more to come, taxing volunteers and their resources. Here’s how you can help.