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Lack of volunteers delays opening of Hermiston Warming Station

Jade McDowell

East Oregonian

Published on November 8, 2018 6:46PM


The Hermiston Warming Station has pushed back its opening date due to lack of volunteers.

Board chair Teesie Hill said unless they get a last-minute surge of volunteers they will open on Dec. 1 instead of Nov. 19 as originally planned.

If they don’t get enough volunteers by then, she said, there’s a possibility the board could decide to not open at all.

Another round of training is scheduled for Tuesday from 6-9 p.m., Thursday from 6-9 p.m., Nov. 16 from noon to 3 p.m., early Nov. 17 from midnight to 3 a.m. and later on Nov. 17 from noon to 3 p.m. Training sessions are at the Warming Station, 1075 S. Highway 395 in Hermiston, and no RSVP is needed. All volunteers must have attended a training this season, be over the age of 18 and pass a background check. The board is asking for donations of $10 to cover background checks.

Volunteers set their own schedules by signing up for shifts they are willing to cover. They can work 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., 7 p.m. to midnight, midnight to 4 a.m. or 4-6:30 a.m. No one ever works alone.

Right now, Hill said, the station has 53 volunteers for the season. If everyone works one shift per week, 49 volunteers are needed per week, but not all volunteers are willing to work every week.

Last year, the Hermiston Warming Station provided a warm place to sleep for 84 individuals. Hill said she didn’t know why they were struggling to get volunteers this year, but she had noticed there were other organizations also short volunteers this season.

For more information about volunteering, contact Hill at 541-289-2150.

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Contact Jade McDowell at jmcdowell@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4536.



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