The weather in Central Oregon has turned and with that goes the safety and warmth for those in need.
“To stay outside for a number of hours when the weather is that cold is life-threatening,” said Shepherd’s House Director of low-barrier service John Lodise. “There’s no other way to put it.”
Lodise and Shepherd’s House Redmond is extending shelter hours in response to the storms.
“We currently plan to be open over the weekend, 24/7, so people don’t have to be out in the cold at all,” Lodise said. “When we do this, it’s an inexact science. We keep our eye on the forecast. It keeps changing. So we do what we can to keep up with the forecast and open doors when it seems to be the coldest.”
They are sheltering between 25 and 30 guests currently and still have room for more, including several families.
The shelter provides meals and a lot more for these guests.
“So we’re looking at some type of structure in the morning where guests can attend presentations, classes, events that will be of meaning to them, that will have the ability to value for them,” Lodise said. “We’ll stay a low-barrier overnight shelter where somebody could walk in any given night and then have a bed if we have one available.”
Once a fully operational shelter is in place, the next step is working collectively with the community.
“For this to be a community center, a place where community and communities of Redmond, communities of Central Oregon can come together and engage with our guests and create valuable relationships with them, relationships that can be life-changing,” he said.
The shelter is also in need of several supplies. You can find donations here:
You can find a list of Central Oregon shelters here: