HR warming shelter needs a home.JPG

Volunteers Russ and Damschen move beds to storage from the Warming Shelter’s home the last three years, in Riverside Community Church. 

Hood River Shelter Services (HRSS) is seeking a new home.

Shelter Services have operated a Warming Shelter for the past ten winters in order to meet the mission, “To compassionately provide a safe place to meet the basic human needs of those without shelter during the winter.” The Warming Shelter is a community project and is possible only through the support of our partner agencies, community volunteers, and local restaurants. 

For the past three winters, the Warming Shelter has operated out of a space at Riverside Community Church. Executive director Sarah Kellems said, “HRSS is grateful for the open and welcoming spirit of the Riverside Church community; having a stable location for three winters has allowed our organization to stabilize and continue to work to better meet the needs of our shelter guests.”

However, the location at Riverside is no longer feasible due to COVID-19. HRSS is currently seeking a new location which will have sufficient space to allow for appropriate social distancing and meet updated health and safety guidelines to protect our shelter guests, staff, and volunteers during the pandemic.  

An ideal location will allow for non-congregate shelter which is an alternate model to the bunk room model the Warming Shelter has used in the past, as well as space for guest check-in, health care visits, and storage of shelter supplies. HRSS is currently exploring short-term emergency solutions for the 2020-2021 season as well as long-term shelter locations. 

Past locations for the shelter included businesses and publicly-owned spaces that were either in transition or provided on a temporary basis.

Kellems said, “We are dedicated to our mission and to continuing to provide winter shelter to those in need in our community. We anticipate the need to lean on our community partners in order to successfully plan for and carry out Warming Shelter operations this coming winter. Community input is welcome as we move through this time of uncertainty.”  

For more information about Hood River Shelter Services, as well as a link to donate, visit hoodrivercares.org.  

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