Volunteers needed to open warming shelter
ROSEBURG, Ore. – Volunteers are being sought from Thursday, Jan. 19, through Sunday, Jan. 22, to help open the Roseburg Warming Center and offer overnight shelter to unhoused people.
Check-in begins at 6 p.m. with 60 cots available for guests and volunteers. Volunteers are needed for all shifts at the warming center, which is housed in the Roseburg Senior Center at 1614 SE Stephens St., said warming center operator Kimetha Stallings.
National Weather Service forecasts currently call for overnight lows of 29 to 30 degrees on all of those nights except Saturday, which is predicted to reach a low of 34 degrees with a slight chance of showers.
“I realize that some of those temperature forecasts are a little bit higher. These guys need a break. They’ve been out here in the cold and wet for like three weeks now,” said Stallings, founder of Onward Roseburg. She added on Tuesday, Jan. 17, that she must wait a few more days to see next week’s forecast and determine if the temporary shelter can open additional nights.
The senior center will provide a free shuttle to make one circuit around town to pick up guests between about 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and then operate again in the morning to drive people back to the same locations. However, unhoused individuals can arrive any time during the night. A cot, blanket and pillow plus a hot dinner and breakfast are provided to anyone staying the night. Guests can stay until 8 a.m. each morning.
Stallings is seeking volunteers to cover at least two shifts each: Evening from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., midnight from 12 to 4 a.m., or breakfast from 4 to 8 a.m. Interested local residents can sign up by commenting on the Facebook post about the opening at https://www.facebook.com/Warming.Center.Onward. Stallings will seek laundry-day volunteers later.
Following recent rains, donations that can be used right now include sleeping bags, tarps, new socks, hand warmers and snacks. The City may help pay for operating costs if needed. In addition, the Roseburg Rescue Mission offers overnight shelter at 752 SE Pine St. all year.
The City’s Severe Event Shelter Policy, Resolution No. 2020-22, provides operational standards for organizations seeking City approval to open a temporary emergency shelter in buildings not designated as residential occupancy. Those operational standards include allowing a warming shelter to open during severe weather:
• on nights when the low temperatures are predicted to be 30 degrees Fahrenheit or less;
• or when low temperatures are forecasted to be 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less with additional factors that could increase a person’s risk of exposure to cold such as precipitation, wind, fog and sustained low temperatures.
Posted by RoseburgAdmin