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Heat wave prep: Cooling shelters open, Bethlehem Inn issues urgent plea for bottled water

(Update: Adding video, Bethlehem Inn issues urgent plea for water)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With the forecast showing high temperatures all week, members of Central Oregon's Homeless Leadership Coalition said Monday they are organizing to support the unhoused and others in need with several cooling centers and other resources, while the Bethlehem Inn issued an urgent plea for bottled water. 

Coalition members including Jefferson County Faith-Based Network, Redemption House Ministries and Shepherd's House Ministries will operate cooling centers during the heat of the day, when individuals experiencing homelessness are most at risk of heat illness. These locations will provide shade, water, and connection to services.

Service providers and mutual aid groups are also organizing to support individuals experiencing homelessness by increasing the distribution of life saving supplies.

Deschutes County Homeless Outreach Services Team, Central Oregon’s Veteran’s Outreach, Jericho Road, Cascades Youth and Family Services Street Outreach, REACH, Bend Church, Central Oregon Villages Outreach and Mosaic Medical will maintain their usual outreach schedules, with a focus on providing access to water in response to the extreme heat.

Redmond Collective Action and High Desert Peace Kitchen have been organizing to increase their mutual aid efforts to get ample supplies out where they are needed most. We thank these partners for their commitment to our neighbors experiencing homelessness.

Meanwhile, the Bethlehem Inn announced Monday it has an immediate need for bottled water.  

"The extremely hot temperatures in the forecast through the end of the month is a severe health risk for the men, women and children experiencing homelessness," the shelter said. "The Inn’s bottled water supplies are running very low, making this need urgent."

Donations of cases of water (12- 16 ounce bottles) will be gratefully accepted at Bethlehem Inn’s Bend shelter location located at 3705 N. Hwy. 97.

Bethlehem Inn is Central Oregon’s largest emergency shelter.  Services in Bend and Redmond provide temporary housing, food, safety and case management for up to 200 adults and children each night.  To learn more about Bethlehem Inn, please visit www.bethleheminn.org. Donations may be mailed to: Bethlehem Inn, P.O. Box 8540, Bend, OR 97708.

Weather-related events are dynamic and information may change. We encourage organizations to post updates to their websites/social medial and email info@cohomeless.org for re-sharing. 

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Shepherd’s House Ministries said Friday that with triple-digit temperatures expected this week, it will open daytime cooling shelters at their facilities in Bend and Redmond from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Bend shelters will be in two locations, at the Lighthouse Navigation Center at 275 NE 2nd Street  and at The Shepherd's House at 1854 NE Division Street. The Redmond shelter will be located at 1350 S. Highway 97 in Redmond, a facility acquired by Shepherd’s House and awaiting renovation in the coming months.

With daytime temperatures forecast over 100 for at least a few consecutive days, Shepherd’s House will provide a safe and cool space for people experiencing homelessness in Redmond and Bend. Days and hours may be responsive to the dynamic nature of extreme weather events.

Extreme heat poses a risk to the health and life of persons living outside, specifically the risks of dehydration and heat sickness. Shepherd’s House is committed to feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless.

Redmond City Director Andrew Hoeksema says, “Everyone in Central Oregon will be uncomfortable on these hottest days of the summer. However, many of our neighbors experiencing homelessness have very limited options for going inside to cool off and rest away from the sun.

"As we seek to extend love and service to our neighbors who need it most, we will open shelters with air conditioning, water, snacks, and personal connection. We are grateful for all who will partner with us in this effort.” 

The Shepherd’s House SHARE Van will also be visiting spots around Bend to deliver cold water bottles and snacks, and to check on people living without shelter during this heat wave.

CALL TO ACTION: Shepherd’s House will welcome volunteers at both sites to assist with sheltering. We also invite donations of water bottles, freezer snacks (e.g. otter pops), and pre-packaged snacks. Sign up to volunteer or make a financial contribution online at www.shepherdshouseministries.org.         

If you would like to give to support these efforts, monetary donations can be made at https://shepherdshouseministries.org/donate/

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