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More volunteers needed for Egan Warming Centers to reduce burnout

A sleeping mat sits in row of mats lined up and spaced six feet apart inside the Memorial Building gym in Springfield, Ore.
Melorie Begay

Egan Warming Centers across Eugene-Springfield have been open four nights in a row this week in response to freezing temperatures and recent snowfall. It’s the first time the shelter has opened this season, but more volunteers are needed for future activations.

Winter Strategies and Emergency Response Coordinator Tim Black says he’s grateful for community support and volunteers coming together to get the sites running, but he’s concerned about burnout during long activations.

“This community is amazing, we are making it work,” he said, “we have to keep going, you know, we can't rest until we have an everyday shelter here in this community in the winter or until it’s warm so we’ll keep going.”

The centers have been open every night since Sunday. However, with temperatures forecast to be above freezing, the Egan Warming Centers will not activate Dec. 30. and are on standby for Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Training for new volunteers will be available via Zoom on January 6th. Winter boots for guests are also needed and can be dropped off at St. Vinnie’s on 705 S. Seneca Road in Eugene. Monetary donations can be made here.

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