ROSEBURG, Ore. (KMTR) -- The cold is tough for everyone, but if you don't have a home, it also poses a serious danger.
Up until the last cold season, Douglas County didn't have any warming shelters for the homeless. Last year, the Douglas County Housing and Homeless Coalition opened one Warming Center in Roseburg at the Unity Church on Winchester Street. This year, they're adding two new shelters: one in Sutherlin at the 7th Day Adventist Church on Central Avenue and the other at the Park Street Community Church in Riddle.
The demand is high and more shelters means more lives will be saved.
“Prior to last year, people had been dying on a consistent basis in previous winters,” says Ian Smith, the Coalition Resource Developer for the Douglas County Housing and Homeless Coalition. “Multiple years in a row, we'd wake up to news reports of people who had literally frozen to death because they had nowhere to go, and that's what makes this so urgent.”
All three shelters will open their doors on nights predicted to be thirty degrees or colder, from November 15 through the end of March.
With the addition of the new shelters, there's a big need for more volunteers. Because the Warming Centers open up based on predicted weather, volunteers are often given very short notice. They're looking for as many volunteers as possible to ensure they can keep their doors open on every night necessary.
If you want to get involved, call Ian Smith at 541 392-3930.