Note: We are open tonight (12/31) and tomorrow night (1/1) at Praise Assembly. Stay safe and warm -- and Happy New Year!
Donations are rolling in! I am so grateful for our generous and compassionate community. In addition to our permanent warming center supplies, we now have bedding, mats, and warm clothing to give away to those who need it. Thanks to area churches, we have "blessing bags" with everyday essentials like hygiene, handwarmers, and snack items. The boxes pictured here represent basically every item on our donation list. Thank you!
Blessed to be part of this community,
Warming Center Coordinator
Sunday through Tuesday are forecast to be in the upper 20s / low 30s. To provide a warm space for those who may need it, the warming center is set to open at Monmouth Praise Assembly (189 Monmouth Ave. S) with intake from 7:00-9:00 each night. Look for the trailer parked in the back next to the basement entrance.
We hope you had a merry Christmas and wish you a happy New Year!
Thank you for your support of the Polk County Warming Centers (PCWC)! We completed our second activation on December 6th and have been open a total of five nights at two locations (Praise Assembly and Monmouth Christian). So far, all six of our guests have been experiencing homelessness, and we've been able to see three find more stable housing as well as facilitate transportation for one individual to reconnect with family who could take him in.
The face of homelessness in Polk County looks different from cities like Salem or Portland. Our neighbors are often much less visible, sheltering in vehicles or couch surfing in order to survive the cold. In some cases, they even have full-time employment, but are not able to secure affordable housing.
Our first donated items were sleeping bags that we were able to give away that same night to two very thankful young men. Other donations of food, camping mats, and warm clothes are ready for our next opening. Local churches have collected items to include in "blessing bags" that will be available to future guests of the warming centers, similar to the ones that Polk Fire and Independence Police have been putting together for those in need. We want to help refill their stock and serve even more this season.
It has been a thrill to see our community band together with care and compassion to offer a safe and warm place for the most vulnerable among us. If you are interested in volunteering or donating items to the warming centers, please check out this link: https://polkwarming.weebly.com/get-involved.html. We are also still in need of host sites for February and March.
Thank you for joining in the PCWC vision -- so that everyone who needs warmth will find it. Because warmth is worth sharing.
Let's not forget that there is more to bad weather than freezing temperatures. The forecast is looking warm through Christmas, but wind and rain can make sleeping outside just as miserable. If you don't have a safe and warm place to be, please don't hesitate to reach out: 503-949-4987. We'd be happy to help connect you with resources that may be available to you when the warming centers are closed.
We are going back on call after this week's cold snap. The warming center was active Saturday through Thursday nights at Monmouth Christian Church. Thank you, MCC, for opening your doors -- and thank you to all the volunteers who helped set up, host overnight, and donated coats/blankets/mattresses/pillows/etc. Our mattress order finally arrived yesterday, so we will be well-equipped for our next opening. Stay safe and warm this weekend!