Homeless Issues
11:21 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Record Numbers Take Shelter at Warming Centers

  The Egan Warming Center in Eugene / Springfield has been open to homeless people seeking shelter from the frigid cold for the past 8 nights. They're not planning to open Wednesday night because the low is not expected to dip below 30.

The Egan Warming Center is named for Major Thomas Egan. He died outdoors on a freezing night in Eugene in 2008.
The Egan Warming Center is named for Major Thomas Egan. He died outdoors on a freezing night in Eugene in 2008.
Credit Egan Warming Center

More than 300 people volunteer their time to help operate the Egan Warming Centers. Program Director Doug Bales:

"Well, we have an amazing team and a great community that really steps up and this kind of weather kind of motivates and gets these people excited. Although resolute, yes we're tired, a lot of hours put in over the last 8 days-- but, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of good energy out there as well."

Bales says for the each of the past 3 nights, guest numbers have risen to around 400. The network of churches and community centers that open on freezing nights is named for Major Thomas Egan. He froze to death on a Eugene sidewalk 5 years ago this month. Egan Warming Center is training volunteers this week. Donations of blankets, warm clothes and sleeping bags can be brought to St. Vincent de Paul locations, marked "For Egan".

Volunteer Trainings:

Thursday, December 12th 6:30 - 8:30 pm Valley Covenant Church 18th and Baily Hill Rd, Eugene

Saturday, December 14th 10:00 - noon First Christian Church 1166 Oak St. Eugene.