Volunteers providing services

 

Last updated 4/18/2023 at 6:19pm

SUE STAFFORD

Community Leadership team volunteer Mike Deal loads sacks of garbage into a trailer provided by the U.S. Forest Service during weekly Wednesday pickup in the forest near Sisters.

The Community Leadership team is working with the City of Sisters, Sisters Ranger District, houseless representatives, volunteers, NeighborImpact, and YouthBuild to provide two weekly services to those living in the forest.

In October, the team began a garbage collection service every Wednesday in the woods off North Pine Street. Jeremy Fields of the U.S. Forest Service, and the team makes the first contact with campers to notify them of the service.

Bonnie Rose of the team told The Nugget, “Jeremy Fields, Forest Service employee, is truly a hero in his concern for the forest, the city, and the houseless in the forest. We would not be able to do any of what we’re proposing without his and the Forest Service’s collaboration.”

Fields is hopeful that the Sisters program can serve as a model for other ranger districts.

The City of Sisters provides large heavy-duty garbage bags to be delivered when the weekly garbage pickup occurs. Volunteers from the team, in their own pickup trucks, pull a 3.5- cubic-yard trailer provided by the Sisters USFS office through the woods to about 20 campsites dispersed throughout the forest. In about two hours, the trailer is full and returned to the Ranger District office, where the bags of garbage are off-loaded into their dumpster. And the campers have new bags for next week’s garbage.

About a month ago, water delivery to the campsites began on Fridays. Students from YouthBuild and one of their teachers in a Youth- Build truck go with a team driver to make water deliveries. The potable water containers were purchased by the team with funds provided by NeighborImpact. The water is provided by the City of Sisters.

David Fox of Deschutes County Behavioral Health, who is assigned to Sisters, works with the houseless population to connect them to needed services.

An anonymous donor has provided a portable bathroom, but it may have to be discontinued because truckers and other drivers passing by are stopping to use it. It must be located close to Highway 20 so it can be serviced.

Those interested in helping the 15 or so current volunteers may contact Danna McNeese at [email protected]

 

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