Warming shelter welcomes those in need during holiday season

The Seed of Faith Ministries warming shelter will open its doors for anyone experiencing homelessness from now until Dec. 26th as part of their “12 days of Activation” program.

The warming shelter, which usually only opens when temperatures drop below 35 degrees, wrote that it is “aiming to spread holiday cheer and hope to people in need.” Beginning on Dec. 13, the shelter opened its doors from 7 p.m. to 6:45 a.m. for both men and women of any age. 

Free transportation is offered by ARCHES staff and begins at 6 p.m. and runs until 9:30 p.m. A shuttle will pick-up from ARCHES at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. Other pick-up locations are the Big Lots on Lancaster (pick-up 7 p.m.), Subway on 13th and State (pick-up 8 p.m.) and Wallace Marine Park (pick-up at 9 p.m.). 

Cherriots also provides rides to and from shelters when temperatures drop, and according to Salem Warming website, “riders simply need to tell the driver that they are headed to an overnight warming shelter and the ride is free.”

While Seed of Faith will be open until Dec. 26 regardless of temperature, there are two other warming shelters that are a part of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency’s Salem Warming program. Salem First Presbyterian opens its doors when temperatures drop below 32 degrees while South Salem Friends Church becomes activated at 35 degrees. 

These warming shelters are also activated when waterways reach flood stages and air quality is at a dangerous level due to wildfires. All three of the shelters offer between 36 and 40 beds each, have pet crates, and offer guests snacks and beverages. 

The Salem Warming program provides low barrier shelter spaces, meaning shelters are co-ed, open to both families and individuals, allow service animals and pets, and do not turn away anyone as long as there is available space.

Seed of Faith Outreach Ministries is located at 853 Medical Drive Dr. NE in Salem. A hotline number, 971-304-9211, is available for those unable to make a shuttle pick-up location.