Night owls needed for warming shelter shifts

Jan. 12, 2011

The Gorge is bracing for a new blast of arctic cold this week. Referrals are starting to be made, connecting the homeless with the community's new warming shelter program. With growing numbers of reported homeless in the area, local churches and agencies came together to provide warm beds for those facing cold nights this winter. As a result of community meetings, a rotating shelter schedule staffed by volunteers and hosted by four local churches, is now in operation. The most recent free training session held on Jan. 8, netted another 50 community members willing to help with the project. Flyers have now been translated into Spanish. What is needed now are people willing to cover the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shifts, providing supervision at the rotating warming shelter church sites. "People can split that shift if needed," said Linda Presley, warming shelter organizer. "We've had a few people take a 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. shift and a few take the 1:30 to 6 a.m. stretch. We still need more, though." Although the next training session will be held in late January or early February, Presley hopes that those already trained will be willing to cover the later hours. That's not to discourage anyone new from calling and volunteering. "We can pair an untrained person with a trained one once background checks are completed," stated Presley. For more information on shift coverage, contact Andy Wade, volunteer coordinator, at 541-806-5415. Like many community groups finding ways to help, The Fruit Company recently donated fresh fruit to the project. Anyone wishing to contribute to the project may send checks to: Hood River Warming Shelter, P.O. Box 656, Hood River, OR 97031. "We know the hospital has begun making referrals to people so the word is getting out," stated Presley.


Entry and registration is available from 7-9 p.m. when temperature is 35 degrees or below; doors close at 9 p.m. Sheltering is available through 7 a.m. the following day. n Jan. 9-15 and Feb. 13-19 - Riverside Community Church, Fourth and State streets n Jan. 16-22 and Feb. 6-12 - St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 400 11th St. n Jan. 23-29 and Feb. 20-26 - Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ninth and State streets. n Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 - Hood River Alliance Church, Montello Ave. at Rand Road (in modular building to the east of the main building, southeast corner of main parking lot).

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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