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Egan Warming Center to activate Sunday night

The Egan Warming Center, an emergency winter shelter, will open up two of their sites Sunday at 6 p.m., but there will only be 40 beds available at each location. Only 10 volunteers are allowed inside the room, due to the 50-person limit.

Posted: Oct 25, 2020 4:10 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2020 7:39 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As temperatures are expected to drop below 30 degrees Sunday night, many people living on the streets are searching for a place to keep warm.

The pandemic has added extra challenges for them, as warming centers cannot hold as many people as they normally do.

St. Vincent de Paul's Egan Warming Center, an emergency winter shelter, will open up two of their sites Sunday at 6 p.m., but there will only be 40 beds available at each location. Only 10 volunteers are allowed inside the room due to the 50-person limit.

Tim Black is the Winter Strategies Coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul.

"We've never had to turn anyone away at Egan Warming Center," Black said. "You're welcome as long as you protect the safety of everybody. We want you inside and out of the cold. We're not going to send you out into the cold. We have to limit our numbers tonight, and we have not had to do that. It's going to be really tough."

It's all on a first-come, first-serve basis. Two locations are operating. One site is at the Lane Events Center and the site for youth is at First United Methodist Church in Eugene.

Each guest is given a health screening before entering, and all volunteers and guests must wear a mask.

If a guest shows COVID-19 symptoms, they'll be taken to another facility to help mitigate any virus spread.

"We're going to follow all the rules," Black said. "We're all going to be in masks the whole time that we're inside except when we are eating and sleeping. Our volunteers are going to be going around on a regular basis wiping all surfaces and opening doors for everybody. We're cleaning our bathrooms after each use."

Guests are served breakfast in the morning, but for those turned away due to capacity -- they'll be given clothes, hand warmers, and a hot drink.

There is an urgent need for volunteers at the Egan Warming Center, and Zoom trainings are coming up in November. If interested in volunteering, click here

The Center will not be open on Monday night, because temperatures are expected to be above 30 degrees.

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