EUGENE, Ore. — The extreme over night temperatures have kept the Egan Warming Centers busy.
“It’s been a little hectic at the warming centers. Our numbers are up. We’re operating at full capacity right now. We’re opening emergency overflow sites every night and they’re all filled. We’re over 400 people staying at a warming center every night for the last five nights,” said Doug Bales, manager of the Egan Warming Centers.
He says despite the spike in numbers of guests, the sites have been running smoothly thanks to help from the community.
“It’s stressful, it’s hectic, it’s amazing. It’s amazing. This community steps up. The volunteers step up. There’s a lot of enthusiastic energy. Our guest population is very helpful and cooperative on the most part. It’s been an amazing week,” said Bales.
Local restaurants have stepped in and donated food to the different locations and other businesses to do laundry.
“Newman’s Fish Market brought us 200 pieces of cooked fish last night, Papa’s Pizza is delivering pizza tonight to one of our sites, and Mazzi’s brought us pizza for our first night for the opening of 39th and Hilyard. It’s been amazing.”>
Bales says after tonight, they’ll re-gather to get ready for a possible reactivation next week.
“Well, we’re standing down tonight. We’re doing carpet cleaning and getting our blankets cleaned and getting our supplies re-stocked and ready. We see that next week it’s possible there’s another cold front coming in just like this one, so we’re going to reload and get ready,” said Bales.