Because more people are seeking help due to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, the Bethlehem Inn, Bend’s largest homeless shelter, is experiencing an increase in demand for its services.
But social distancing restrictions make it difficult for the shelter to fundraise in traditional ways.
Tuesday night, the Bethlehem Inn will take its 10th annual “Spotlight on Homelessness” fundraiser online.
Executive Director Gwenn Wysling said the virtual fundraiser will help them meet the needs of those impacted by the sudden economic downturn.
“It’s putting a lot of people that are just living on the edge, paycheck to paycheck, really at risk right now,” Wysling said. “So we’re going to be serving more people than ever and we’re really looking forward to getting people involved in helping make that happen.”
At 7:00 p.m., the public can visit Bethlehem Inn’s website for a virtual tour and details on how to contribute.
The Inn is serving more than 150 people each night. Wysling said demand could soon rise beyond what the shelter experienced during the Great Recession, from 2007 to 2009.