On Jan. 2, as the temperature dipped, the Hood River warming shelter program kicked into gear.
The first host site, Hood River Alliance Church, was staffed with volunteers and warm welcoming beds.
Although the first few days of operation yielded no takers, the many participating churches and volunteers are happy to be getting the program started.
"The community is coming together and becoming aware of the needs of the homeless," said Jeff Mueller, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and site coordinator.
"We need to build trust in the community and get the word out that the shelter program is now open," said Mueller.
Another free training and information session is available for anyone interested in helping to shelter families and individuals this Saturday, Jan. 8, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The session will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church at Ninth and State streets.
"We still need more volunteers and people from the community to learn about how to help," said Andy Wade, warming shelter program coordinator.
ROTATING SHELTER SITE SCHEDULE:
(Entry available from 7-9 p.m. when temperature is 35 degrees or below; doors close at 9 p.m.)
• Jan. 9-15 and Feb. 13-19 - Riverside Community Church, Fourth and State Streets
• Jan. 16-22 and Feb. 6-12 - St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 400 11th St.
• Jan. 23-29 and Feb. 20-26 - Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ninth and State streets.
• Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 - Hood River Alliance Church, Montello Ave. at Rand Road (in modular building to the east of the main building, southeast corner of main parking lot).