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.