A temporary cold weather shelter is opening in Downtown Sisters Friday night. It comes after a last-minute approval by the city.
Volunteers with the Sisters Cold Weather Shelter said they received 24 hours notice to have it ready to go.
“Having been involved in the denial of the shelter last year, we were not prepared for this short of notice,” Sisters Cold Weather Shelter Board President Louis Blanchard said. “We’ve been preparing all of our folks in the woods with blankets, heaters, tons of propane, campers, RVs, things of that nature to try to sustain themselves through the winter months.”
Sisters is the only city in Deschutes County that does not have a permanent place for the homeless to stay warm.
The temporary shelter is opening near Fir Street Park at 291 E. Main Ave. It will open at 6 p.m. every night through Jan. 25. It’s approved to sleep up to 20 people. Anyone who plans to use it must follow a strict set of guidelines.
“One of the big things we expect is there is respect for all individuals. So when our guests come in, they need to be aware of the people around them and follow the rules,” shelter volunteer Diane Prichard said.
The shelter will have overnight monitors on site. Warm meals will be served and no alcohol or drugs will be permitted.
Businesses around the shelter’s location and other people voiced their support of the shelter.
Central Oregon Daily did reach out to several city officials including the mayor. None wanted to speak on camera.