Warming centers open as temperatures fall below freezing

Warming centers open as temperatures fall below freezing
Major Thomas Egan froze to death on the streets of Eugene. His death inspired members of the community to organize warming shelters named in his honor.

EUGENE, Ore. - With the temperature forecast to bottom out in the upper 20s overnight, the Egan Warming Centers will open to house people living on the streets.

The centers were set to open at 4 p.m. Monday.

Now in its fifth season, the Egan Warming Center is a community-led, almost entirely volunteer-run program. The Center's mission is to ensure that homeless people have a safe place to sleep indoors when temperatures drop below 30 degrees between November 15 and March 31.

The program was inspired by the December 18, 2008, death of Major Thomas Egan, who froze to death on the streets of Eugene during a snowstorm. Last season volunteer spent over 12,000 hours sheltering 926 people on 15 nights.

Need help?

Homeless people traveling to the Egan Warming Center can ride LTD buses for free if they let the driver know they are going to a warming center.

The centers are available at the following locations:

How you can help

Bring donations of sleeping bags, blankets, coats, socks and other items to keep people warm to any St. Vincent de Paul location. Make sure they are clearly marked "Egan Warming Center." Please do not take donations to warming center sites; we don't always have enough volunteers to accept items and it takes attention away from our guests.

Bring donations of non-perishable food items to Food for Lane County, 770 Bailey Hill Road in Eugene. Please do not bring prepared items to warming center sites. Health Department regulations prohibit us from serving any food not prepared in a certified commercial kitchen.

Monetary donations can be made online at http://www.svdp.us/get-involved/donate/ or by mail at P.O. Box 24608, Eugene, OR 97402