CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Emergency Family Shelter (EFS) is back open ahead of the winter season, after budget cuts forced them to close four months ago.
The Emergency Family Shelter has provided emergency, temporary, and transitional shelter for residents with children under the age of 18 in Corvallis for the last 47 years.
"I get to look at little kids in the face and tell them they have a safe place to sleep for the night and that's pretty big," said Julia Perkins, Shelter Services Director for Community Outreach Inc (COI). "They have their own private bathroom, we have showers available. We have hygiene and toiletry supplies, and you have people to talk to."
Kari Whitacre, the Executive Director of COI, said the EFS is an extension of their transitional shelter, which reaches capacity on a nightly basis.
"There really isn't a day in the last 7 years that I've been executive director that we haven't been full or we haven't been able to fill a bed within 24 hours if one is vacant," said Whitacre.
She said the shelter serves the "hidden homeless."
"They don't wear that mask of homeless or wear the uniform of disheveled clothes, the dirty face, or flying a sign. They're constantly in and around us. Their kids go to our school, they play with our kids," said Whitacre.
Whitacre said they were forced to close the EFS due to a "$100,000 loss in city, state, and federal funding."
After the community heard the news, individual donors and small businesses came together and helped finance 75 percent of the amount lost from funding.
"They really see the importance in the services we provide. I was blown away by the amount of support we got just from individuals in the community," said Ben Danley, Development Director for COI.
EFS reopened on November 1st. The shelter will be opened seven days a week with intake from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admittance is on a first-come, first-serve basis with no referral needed.
For more information, visit their website.