Snow and bitterly cold temperatures make things very tough for those living on the street.
In Redmond additional services are not only being added to shelters, but new facilities are ready for use.
“The warming shelter saves lives,” said Mountain View Fellowship lead pastor Rick Russell. “I mean bottom line it will prevent people from dying from exposure, which we used to see much more frequently.”
Mountain View Fellowship church in Redmond opened its overnight cold weather shelter only a few weeks ago.
A much needed necessity during a rise in homelessness according to Russell.
“This is really entry level,” Russell said. “This is acute care. You can think of this as the emergency room for the hospital operation. We are just trying to get people in and keep them safe and then try to move them toward more sustainable steps.”
The church also recently added a laundry and shower room for those in need.
“Getting access to laundry, having access to a shower is a big deal,” Russell said. “Generosity of our people, some community partners, a contractor, we were able to get this completed and get this online just before the shelter season.”
The shelter helps around 20 to 25 people and more are expected as temperatures drop.
“Typically 80-85% of people using the shelter became homeless in Central Oregon, became homeless in Redmond and so this is not out of town people that showed up somehow, this is Redmond citizens and Redmond residents who just don’t have a place to sleep that is warm at night.”
Shepherd’s House Ministries has partnered with Redmond churches to provide an overnight Cold Weather Shelter since 2014.
They are currently in the process of opening a full time shelter with a 40 bed capacity.
“This building became available to use when Grace Gate church was dissolving and merging with another local church,” said Andrew Hoeksema Shepherd’s House Ministries, Redmond City Director. “We have acquired it and we are in the process of planning for a renovation in 2022 and hope to offer food services and overnight services consistently and permanently as we finish the renovations in 2022
For now, it’s being used as a weather-permitted emergency daytime warming shelter.
The overnight shelter is open from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 am through February 15 and the daytime shelter December 28th through the 30th, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Without an inconsistent schedule, Shepherd’s House Ministries is relying on outreach from other service providers to get to word out on when the shelter is open.
A van will be used to transport guests between the overnight shelter and the daytime shelter.
Bethlehem Inn’s Greenway Motel in Redmond is not an emergency shelter, but instead a high barrier shelter.
They are currently housing eight individuals with a goal to fully open in the next couple of months, housing 88 individuals.
First Presbyterian Church in Bend is also open Tuesday – Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.