Warming Shelters Seek Volunteers

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ASHLAND, Ore. — A standing room only crowd gathered at the Ashland Fire Station Wednesday evening to get more information and training on how to become a volunteer for Ashland’s warming shelters.

Guests at Ashland’s Wednesday warming shelter settled in before the doors were locked for the night. Two volunteers also spend the night with the guests which can total more than twenty when temperatures drop.

“We typically have between one to two dozen guests. It really varies depending on the weather and the time of year,” said volunteer Carolyn Anderson.

Anderson has volunteered at the warming shelters regularly and said she truly realizes how fortunate she is each time she volunteers.

“I have amazing blessings in my life. Amazing opportunities and amazingly good luck and not everyone has those opportunities and that luck,” said Anderson.

More volunteers like Anderson are needed and Wednesday night a packed room of potential volunteers gathered to learn more about the warming centers. Alison Laughlin volunteered once last month when the snow fell and says volunteering cleared up any hesitations she had.

“So I thought I’d just go and see what it was like and it was a great opportunity for me to see who this population were,” said Laughlin.

Last year there were 64 shelter nights between the three locations and a total of 853 guests came through the doors. More volunteers are need to help free up current volunteers as well as assist when emergency warming shelters open when temperatures drop below 20 degrees.