(Update: Adding video)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With the National Weather Service issuing an excessive heat watch for parts of Central Oregon, members of the Homeless Leadership Coalition are again organizing to support the unhoused and others in need with cooling centers throughout the region.
Coalition members including Jefferson County Faith-Based Network, Craig’s Compassionate Cafe and churches like Mountain View Fellowship of Redmond and the Madras Free Methodist Church are offering space, staff and resources to operate indoor cooling centers.
Cooling centers will operate 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.
In Deschutes County, service providers and mutual aid groups are organizing to support individuals experiencing homelessness by increasing the distribution of supplies such as water and sunscreen to help individuals survive the heat.
“For those without access to air conditioning or those experiencing homelessness, the option of visiting a cooling center or the nearest library can provide some respite during the heat of the day,” said Lindsey Stailing, chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition.
“We have been monitoring the weather and working with coalition members to come up with a plan for the week. We thank our partners for opening several cooling centers and all those pitching in to distribute supplies like water. Without the ability to be in a cool environment, our unhoused neighbors are at increased risk for heat related illnesses and these efforts are lifesaving. The HLC continues to work toward a future where all our neighbors have a safe, stable environment to call home.”
Want to help?
Donations of water, electrolyte beverages and sunscreen will be accepted at the cooling center locations during open hours. Donations will also be accepted and re-distributed to those conducting outreach from the following locations:
- First Presbyterian Church, 230 NE 9th Street, Bend, on Wednesday between 2-5pm and Thursday between 10:30am-4pm
- Mountain View Fellowship, 1475 Southwest 35th Street, Redmond, between 12-6pm Wednesday & Thursday
Deschutes County Homeless Outreach, Central Oregon’s Veteran’s Outreach, Jericho Road, Cascades Youth and Family Services Street Outreach, Redmond Collective Action, Street Kitchens Collective, Helpers, Bend Church and Mosaic Medical will maintain their usual outreach schedules with a focus on providing access to water in response to the extreme heat.
Shepherd’s House Bend Emergency Shelter will be open earlier than normal for their overnight guests on Thursday when temperatures peak.
Bend Church will distribute water from 1-3pm on Thursday and Friday.
From 12-6pm Wednesday, Aug. 11-Saturday, Aug. 14th at Mountain View Fellowship, 1475 Southwest 35th Street, Redmond, OR. Organized by Redmond Service Providers and Mountain View Fellowship staff. Pets are welcome at the shelter.
Outreach providers will ensure unhoused community members are well supplied with water.
The Jefferson County Cooling Center will operate at the Madras Free Methodist Church, 976 S. Adams, Madras from 12-5pm daily, beginning Wednesday, Aug. 11th and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 14th. Transportation will be available at the corner of 4th and Maple (behind Sonic) at 11:45 am daily.
Craig’s Compassionate Cafe will be open from 11am-3pm Wednesday through Friday for those who need to escape the heat. Cold drinks available. Lunch is served between 11:30-12:30.
The HLC would also like to remind people that local libraries are a great place to escape the heat. Additional information will be shared via the Homeless Leadership Coalition and Pandemic-Partners social media channels as available.
About the Homeless Leadership Coalition: The Homeless Leadership Coalition (HLC) is a collaboration of community partners in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Coalition membership includes nonprofit homeless assistance providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers, mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable housing developers, law enforcement, people with lived experience of homelessness, and others who care about the issues facing our unhoused neighbors.