Cold Weather Shelter prepares for the cold

Community invited to Feb. 6 ribbon cutting

Feb. 3, 2021 — The Florence Emergency Cold Weather Shelter (FECWS) is nearing completion at its new location after a group of volunteers from local support groups and churches met this past Saturday (Jan. 30) to continue installing small, individual shelters on a donated plot of land a block from Highway 101, across from the Sand Ranch.

The shelters have been purchased and installed using funding provided by Lane County, along with donated time, materials and effort from local volunteers.

“The work party on Saturday was an effort to put the final touches on the Florence Pallet Shelter Village,” said FECWS President Pat Burke. “This involved leveling some of the Pallets, spreading mulch over road cloth to make walking paths, consecutively numbering the Pallets and matching keys to each, wiring each Pallet for power, installing mattresses and various cosmetic chores.”

Saturday's work was the culmination of several months of volunteer site preparation.

“We are fortunate that Florence once again answered the call for help as 30 or more people pitched in,” Burke said.

In addition, Central Lincoln PUD aided the project with a truckload of mulch.

“I'd like to mention Dan Lofy Construction in particular for their valuable contributions, as well as Bryan Haydel who acted as the project foreman,” said Burke.

Haydel is also vice president of the FECWS board.

The public is invited to a dedication of the shelters this Saturday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m., to officially open the shelters for use.

Florence Mayor Joe Henry will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting, along with several guest speakers to mark the occasion.

Masks must be worn as FECWS is complying with current safety guidelines.

“Being ready to shelter homeless people during raw winter weather is a blessing for all of us, but volunteering is ongoing,” Burke said. “When FECWS opens its doors, we will need people for intake, meal preparation and service, bed-making and overnight supervision, among other tasks. Anyone who would like to join us, even for a single stint, is so welcome.”

For more information on to volunteer with the FECWS, contact Burke at 541-590-3598 or email Volunteer Coordinator Meris Robison at [email protected].