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Egan Warming Centers struggle to keep up with long activation

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Egan Warming Center
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The Egan Warming Center in Eugene/ Springfield is trying to sustain a long activation as below freezing temperatures continue this week in the region.

Tim Black, Winter Strategies Coordinator with St. Vincent de Paul said they haven’t had to turn anyone away, but if they don’t have enough staff, that’s a possibility.

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Tim Black
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St. Vincent de Paul
Tim Black, Winter Strategies and Emergency Response Coordinator with St. Vincent de Paul took this selfie for his mom Tuesday night at the Springfield Memorial Building, one of the Egan Warming Center sites.

“We have a real challenge filling all of our shifts so that we can make our shelters as safe as we want,” he said. “No surprise. Especially our overnight shifts like 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. And we also need help in morning shifts, which is tough, because it’s often the coldest right at 6 and 7 a.m. when we’re asking our guests to get up and collect their belongings and get back out there.”

Black said people with experience working with houseless individuals are encouraged to reach out.

“We’re happy to have your help inside a shelter and you can take our orientation later,” he said. “So, you don’t have to be an Egan volunteer already. If you think you have something that can help us, we’ll take your help.”

Black said they’ve served about 150 guests each night since they activated Monday.

“I expect that to grow, as people made it through one cold night and realize they don’t want to do that again,” he said.

Black said they’ll likely schedule another volunteer training before the end of the season. More information at eganwarmingcenter.com

For info on warming centers in your area call 211 or go to 211info.org

Egan Warming Center Sites: 

Trinity United Methodist Church

440 Maxwell Rd (LTD route 51)

Opens 7 PM – Pets welcome, accessible site

Whiteaker (new site! Thank you, Eugene Mission)

1509 W First Ave (across from Eugene Mission main office, LTD route 52)

Opens 7 PM – Pets welcome, accessible site

Springfield Memorial Building

765 A St (across from downtown post office)

Opens 6 PM – Pets welcome, accessible site

Youth Site at First United Methodist Church

1376 Olive St

Opens 6 PM – Pets welcome, accessible site

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.