A warm, welcoming place
Orientation meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 at St. James Catholic Church, 301 Frances St.
The Molalla Warming Center opened Saturday, Dec. 7 for the first time at the St. James Catholic Church. A welcoming place for homeless folks during these freezing cold nights, volunteers at the center served the thankful guest a hot dinner, clean bed, and in the morning, breakfast and a sack lunch to help them through the day.
The center offers safe overnight refuge to un-housed individuals of the Molalla area during periods of extreme weather.
With the frigid weather, the center has been open Saturday, Sunday night and Monday nights and probably will be Tuesday night, said organizer Joni Laver on Monday.
We have to get a confirmation from the county for Tuesday night, Laver said. When it is freezing, then we will be open. On a side note--one of our volunteers took a guest to Willamette Falls Hospital with pneumonia the first night and he is still there.
The mission of the center is to provide a welcoming and safe overnight refuge to un-housed individuals of the Molalla area during periods of extreme weather.
The center finalized contracts with Clackamas County Health and Human Services at on Thursday, Dec 5. With the contract in place, the Steering Committee jumped into action. The call was put out to prospective volunteers and by 3 p.m. Saturday, teams were in place, and they welcomed their first guest on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.
Three of the many homeless in the area came into the center the first night. Leota Childress, chairwoman of the steering committee, said that is considered a success. There were three additional first-timers on the second night, Childress said.
"We believe that as the word spreads among the un-housed population that we are a welcoming, non-judgmental, non-threatening group of people who are concerned for their welfare, more will come, as witnessed by the three new guests Sunday night, she said. It looks like it may be a hard winter and we are prepared to go the long-haul.
The community has demonstrated their support by donating winter blankets, hats, gloves, socks, and coats. The Father's Heart Street Ministry and Warming Center in Oregon City shared from their storehouse, also.
For the present time, the steering committee is asking community members to hold on to their contributions. The centers relatively small storage place is filled, and they are establishing supplemental storage.