Cold Weather shelter opens Wednesday

Emergency shelter could be open through Christmas, depending on weather

Dec. 20, 2017 — The Florence Emergency Cold Weather Shelter will be opening Wednesday evening, Dec. 20, with the possibility of additional nights being added throughout the week, including Christmas day.

“Right now, we’re just making the commitment for Wednesday night,” said Pastor Greg Wood, president of the program. “My guess is we’ll probably be open through Christmas day.”

Because the shelter is only opened when the temperature reaches 32 degrees or less, predicting a full schedule can be difficult.

The forecast has fluctuated from day to day recently. On Monday, Christmas Day was predicted to be less than 32 degrees, but at the time of this writing the prediction jumped to 37 degrees.

However, the shelter could open at a warmer temperature if rain is predicted, as it is more difficult for clients of the program to dry off in colder temperatures.

Currently, rain is predicted for Christmas.

“My guess is, first thing Wednesday morning we’ll know if we will be open throughout the week,” Wood said.

Christmas Day can be particularly challenging.

“Usually we close at 8 a.m., but on Christmas we have nowhere to send people. The library is closed, along with lots of things that are normally open.”

If the emergency shelter is needed on Christmas, Wood said they are prepared.

“We’ve gotten several people that have stepped up for Christmas,” he said. “We have a cook, and somebody said that they would bring a bunch of board games and they would be there part of the day. Others said they would be there for different parts of the day, so it looks like that’s coming together too.”

But for now, Wednesday night the shelter will be open. Registration will begin at 5 p.m., with dinner served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The emergency shelter is located at the Presbyterian Church at 3996 Highway 101, just south of Bi-Mart.

To find out if the emergency shelter will continue to be open through the week, the public can check the shelter’s Facebook page (Florence Emergency Cold Weather Shelter), email blast or look for the shelter flag hung throughout the area, including at the Siuslaw Public Library.

For those who cannot walk to the shelter, a pickup service will be available beginning at 5 p.m. with locations at the library, Safeway and Fred Meyer.

For more information, contact Wood at 541-991-8208.

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