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Bend’s year-round emergency shelter hits 70-person capacity; Shepherd’s House seeks help with meals

(Update: Adding video, comments)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As cooler days and chilly nights set in across the High Desert, dozens of homeless people are filling up Bend's new year-round shelter, and the operators need help feeding them.

Shepherd’s House Ministries said Thursday it is in critical need of donated meals to provide for the dozens of homeless that come each night to their emergency shelter on Second Street.

"There may come a time when a guests comes in here after having been out in the street all day, and we may have to say, 'We're sorry -- we don't have a meal tonight,'" warned John Lodise, the director of emergency services for Shepherd's House.

Since the extended year-round opening of shelter services in June, the Second Street location is now operating seven days a week year-round, which has caused a significant influx of regular guests accessing the shelter. Their 70-bed facility is now filled to capacity each night, causing a greater need for volunteer dinner and breakfast service.

"We're basically scraping by," Loside told NewsChannel 21. "As we see gaps in the meal train, we make a lot of trips to Costco. We are just finding ways to improvise."

The Shepherd's House depends on the community for food, but Lodise said that without help, they might have to limit capacity, or even skip meals.

That's a scary thought for Lani Gibson, who's been homeless for three years, and sleeps there every night with her seven-year-old pug.

"If that was taken away from them, then I don't know what they'd have to count on," Gibson said. "They would have a bed, a warm place to sleep, but everybody needs at least one meal a day."

The Shepherd's House needs help to make that happen.

"They could adopt a day of the month," Lodise suggested. "They could take the third Wednesday, they could take the second Saturday of every month and just provide a meal every 30 days. If we have enough people do that, we'll fill all of our gaps."

For anyone interested in providing a meal to those experiencing homelessness, you can visit the “Meal Train” link on their website at shministries.org or access it directly here: BendShelterFood.org

Individuals, churches, community organizations, businesses, families, and neighborhood groups are encouraged to participate by signing up to help serve a nutritious meal to our neighbors experiencing the hardship of homelessness. Your help in serving and spreading the word is greatly appreciated.

For more information, contact Lodise at: johnl@shministries.org

Or visit:

Meal Train Link: BendShelterFood.org

You can also make a monetary donation to support this meal service at:
https://shepherdshouseministries.org/donate-general/

Author Profile Photo

Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. Imagine, if you can, how different this situation would look for our brothers and sisters if all of the non-profits in the tri-county area picked a day and provided this need? I am referring to the ‘fraternal’ organizations, who all claim ‘non-profit’ tax status…such as the Elks, the Eagles, American Legion and VFW posts, Moose lodges, etc. These organizations are in a position to make a difference for neighbors less fortunate…how about it folks? Step up to the plate and do the right thing for our communities in need. I urge you to think about this need the next time you are writing that check to pay your annual dues. How does your organization stack up when the need arises?

    1. So how do you know those organizations are not already doing this? Both the VFW and American Legion are supporting the Central Oregon homeless veterans projects and the Eagles, Moose and Ellks are already providing support to a number of homeless shelters. How about Market of Choice or Whole Foods doing a nightly run of food to this shelter. Or the rich surfer “dude” with the “Super Foods” doing a weekly product run just for the homeless. And let’s talk about the work of the endless number of churches that are also “tax-exempt” that are not housing homeless in their buildings in the winter in non-service days.

    2. Could you imagine if all of the tax dollars the state of Oregon collected in the name of “helping the homeless, and people who are in need” actually made it to them, instead of paying the wages, healthcare, retirement 1+ month vacation, 2+ weeks sick leave, having state vehicles sitting in their driveways, sitting “working at home” for the last 18 months, when a lot of them are rebuilding their cars, remodeling their home, and walking over every 30 mins moving the computer mouse, or sending a cheep e-mail to make it look like their working, all of agencies, that never actually help no one but themselves.
      You want to gripe about something, start there, not by trying to take monies from private originations, always the liberal, happy to help, as long as it is with someone else’s money.

  2. There is funding coming from the State to the counties in Oregon for the homeless emergency. It is typical for funding to get hung up in “administrative positions” and overhead and not much trickles down to the actual homeless needs. That must be looked at. We have a lot of needs in our area without funding that need to be addressed.

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