The Egan Warming Center will open for the first time this season on Wednesday night, according to their website. The National Weather Services has forecasted temperatures in the low 30s.
Egan operates emergency shelters throughout Eugene-Springfield when temperatures become hazardous for people living on the streets. Shelters remain on standby for Thursday and Friday, Nov. 21 and 22.
The shelters opened outside their regular season on Oct. 29 and 30 when temperatures dipped into the mid-20s. During the 2018-19 season, Egan did not open until December, according to their Winter Strategies Season Report.
Egan shelters are open to anyone who follows their guidelines.
“It is a low-barrier shelter,” said Tim Black, Winter Strategies Coordinator for St. Vincent DePaul Society of Lane County. “As long as they abide by the behavioral rules inside, we want them inside.” The shelters do not require any kind of drug or alcohol testing, Black said.
Black said he watches the weather closely and starts putting shelters on standby 72 hours before nights with forecasted lows around 30 degrees. He said getting enough volunteers on short notice can be challenging.
“The hardest thing about volunteering is that first time getting out of your house,” Black said.
A list of shelters and details about volunteering are available on the Egan Warming Center website.