Sisters Cold Weather Shelter seeks help
Last updated 12/1/2021 at Noon
Since 2017, the Sisters Cold Weather Shelter (SCWS) nonprofit has set up in local churches to bring our forest-dwelling neighbors in from the freezing winter weather. Each year the shelter has partnered with churches, local businesses, and volunteers to provide a warm dinner meal and a warm place to sleep.
Last year due to COVID-19, the local churches were unable to provide shelter. Instead, SCWS Board members and other volunteers made the rounds out in the forest, as frequently as possible, to make sure individuals and families had warmth and food.
This year, only two churches are available to host the shelter, one in December and another in January. Other local churches unable to provide shelter space are helping with meals and other donations, as they are able. The board is still searching throughout Sisters for a place to host the shelter in February and March. If you know of a building that could facilitate the shelter for either or both months, contact the SCWS coordinator below.
In addition to needing a space, SCWS is in need of monetary donations to cover expenses, including payroll for overnight monitors, a part-time coordinator, and supplies.
“We have been amazed at the number of returning volunteers who have come forward to cover our evening shift from 5:30 to 10 p.m. working in twos, to help serve meals and set up for our guests to sleep comfortably” said Evelyn Bellotti-Busch, board co-chair.
After 10 p.m., there are paid monitors that provide safety for our guests and neighbors through the night.
“We still need more volunteers; this is a good chance to meet new people and to hear some of the stories of those living in the forest,” Bellotti-Busch said.
Several churches have stepped forward to cover meals three nights of the week. As in the past, the Shelter is counting on community members to donate meals to fill in the rest of the week.
Volunteers can sign up for an evening shift or to bring a meal at https://signup.com/go/hSiuMqq.
Bethany Bachmeier, SCWS coordinator, can also provide more information. Her email is [email protected]
To donate to SCWS, send a check to Sisters Cold Weather Shelter, PO Box 1782, Sisters, OR 97759.