ASHLAND, Ore. — With temperatures expected to drop into the 20s on Monday night, a group of volunteers is opening up a warming shelter for the homeless in Ashland.
"Tonight, we are expecting it to get very cold with rain and ice," said Jason Houk, an organizer for Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice. "So, that’s why we’re providing shelter tonight."
The extreme weather shelter will be at the First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) church in Ashland, 717 Siskiyou Boulevard. It will remain open for 12 hours — beginning at 7:30 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
"We’re going to be providing a hot meal tonight and then folks will have a warm safe place to be over night. In the morning we’ll make sure everybody gets a breakfast before they leave," Houk said.
Those who turn out are asked to bring their own bedding and gear, because there will not be enough available for everyone.
These emergency shelters are entirely operated by volunteers, so Houk says that his group is always looking for more people willing to get involved — and he is happy to train.
"They’re in a dangerous situation," said Houk of the local homeless population. "If they want to get out of the weather. This shelter is for them and we want to provide a very safe space for people tonight."