ARCHES in Salem provides food and beverages in November. (Photo courtesy of ARCHES social media)
With local temperatures dropping below freezing, multiple warming shelters throughout Salem will open tonight at 7 p.m. and remain active until Jan. 5.
“People experiencing homelessness, who need shelter in freezing temperatures, will now be able to find a warm, dry place thanks to the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency’s Salem Warming program,” the program said in a press release on Dec. 20.
Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency announced on Dec. 27 the opening of a “mega-bed facility” called the Navigation Center that will provide beds for up to 75 people. The center, located at 1185 22nd St. in Salem, will be open from 7 p.m. until 6:45 a.m. and won’t turn anyone away as long as there is available space.
Laura Russo, the warming center manager, said the Navigation Center will be operational until March 31, 2022 and will activate anytime temperatures drop below 32 degrees.
In addition to the Navigation Center, the First Presbyterian Church’s warming shelter will also provide space for approximately 40 people. The church is located at 770 Chemeketa St. in Salem and will remain open from 7 p.m. to 6:45 a.m. each day until at least Jan. 5.
Guests at both locations are not required to stay throughout the night and may check out at any point. The warming shelters provide pet crates and offer guests snacks, as well as coffee and tea.
Shuttles to the locations will be provided each day of activation with pick ups occurring at ARCHES every 30 minutes between 6:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. A shuttle will pick up at Church at the Park, located at 2410 Turner Road in Salem, at 5:45 p.m. each day as well. A hotline number, 971-304-9211, is available for those unable to make a shuttle pick-up location or with questions about open locations.
Russo said that volunteers are needed for both locations and that a third location, Seed of Faith Outreach Ministries, will be activated if more beds are needed.
“Without the help of volunteers, we can’t do it,” Russo said.
For additional information on the Salem Warming program and volunteer opportunities, visit Salem Warming at www.salemwarming.weebly.com.