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Volunteers needed to open warming shelter


ROSEBURG, Ore. – Volunteers are needed to help open the Roseburg Warming Center tonight to provide a warm and dry overnight shelter for the community’s most vulnerable residents.

“Tonight, we’re opening as an emergency opening,” said warming center operator Kimetha Stallings, the founder of Onward Roseburg. “We weren’t planning on opening this week. Then I woke up and saw the forecast that tonight was going to be freezing and wet. We have to do something.”

On Thursday morning, Stallings was working to put together a volunteer crew so the temporary shelter can open at the Roseburg Senior Center, 1614 SE Stephens St. in Roseburg. Volunteers help welcome guests, set up sleeping cots, maintain a quiet space for sleeping and restore the space each morning during three shifts: evening shift, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.; overnight shift, midnight to 4 a.m.; and breakfast shift, 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.

While Stallings has begun confirming some volunteers, she currently needs two more for the evening shift, two for the midnight shift and three for the morning shift. Interested volunteers can sign up by texting Stallings at 541-236-2089.

Sixty cots are available for guests and volunteers. Up to 30 people each night sought shelter when the center was open in November. Guest check-in begins at 6 p.m. Those in need of shelter should arrive by 9 p.m. A cot, blanket and pillow plus a hot dinner and breakfast are provided to anyone staying the night. The center will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and is only expected to be open Thursday night, said Stallings, who will monitor the weather forecast for next week.

“We are trying to open tonight. We’re not really sure if it will be open tonight,” said Ruth Smith, the senior center’s shelter liaison.

No donations are needed at this time due to lack of storage space. The City of Roseburg helps pay for operating costs.

In addition, the Roseburg Rescue Mission offers overnight shelter at 752 SE Pine St. all year.

The City’s severe event shelter policy allows for a City-funded warming shelter to be open, if possible:

• 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. 

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Posted by RoseburgAdmin