One of the people who stayed at the temporary Sisters cold weather shelter during the frigid temperatures earlier this month says he has great appreciation for the group who helped pull it together.
Randall Schwartz believes a permanent option could help others he saw using the shelter who are suffering from mental illness.
“I was out there in the snow and I couldn’t get around real well, and this lady came by and she stopped and directed me into the shelter,” he said.
Schwartz was stuck. He says the shelter pulled him out of the woods during the nights he needed it most. The option of a warm place to sleep, even for a few days, left him with heavy gratitude.
“They (shelter organizers) deserve a lot of respect just because they were going out of their way to help all these people beyond the shelter, you know, going to get them fuel and feeding them and driving them around, taking them places,” he said.
This was Schwartz’s first experience using a shelter. He stayed three nights until the shelter’s 24-hour operations allowance expired, then he moved to a hotel paid for by cold weather shelter volunteers for another three nights.
“Some of the people that were there were very unappreciative, very demanding and some really ill mentally,” he said. “I can see them needing service. You know, they do need help.”
Approval for the shelter was set to expire Thursday. But one day before that, the city issued a new order allowing it to reopen during extreme weather. That order runs through Mar. 14.