SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Springfield saw the construction of its first Conestoga hut on Friday morning.
The shelter was built at the First Baptist Church on G Street in a process that took just over two hours. Organizers hope to get 30 of the structures up and running before the cold weather returns; the first three have been donated and fundraising is underway to build the remaining 27.
Mary Davidson of the Shelter Rights Alliance says these small dwellings are important because they provide people with a safe, legal place to sleep so they can work on finding employment and a permanent place to live. “The response from people who’ve been [living] in their own vehicles is very heartwarming,” says Davidson.
People are given 90-day permits to stay in the huts, but they will be given the chance to extend their stays if needed.