Warming shelter to open extra nights
ROSEBURG, Ore. – The Roseburg Warming Center will open for at least six nights starting Thursday, Jan. 19, after the operator extended the opening by two days.
Volunteers are needed for all shifts so overnight shelter can be offered to unhoused people from Thursday through at least Tuesday night, said warming center operator Kimetha Stallings. She will determine at a later date whether the center will remain open on Wednesday night.
Check-in begins at 6 p.m. at the center, which is housed in the Roseburg Senior Center at 1614 SE Stephens St. The center offers 60 cots for guests and volunteers. National Weather Service forecasts currently call for overnight lows of 28 to 32 degrees on all of those nights except Saturday, which is predicted to reach a low of 36 degrees with a slight chance of showers and patchy fog.
“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.
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.
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, Stallings said. 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.
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