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shelter director Sarah Kellems sets up the sign at Riverside Church.

Hood River Warming Shelter returns to service on Monday for its 10th winter.

The service of Hood Shelter Services runs nightly through mid-March.

Hours are 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., as in past years.

With volunteers on hand, the shelter is a place for anyone in need of a warm bed and a couple of meals. It was founded by local residents after a homeless person died in Hood River from exposure to the cold.

“We are truly grateful to Riverside Community Church for once again hosting the shelter,” said Sarah Kellems, Shelter Services executive director.

This year, a new check-in time has been instituted: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

In a new rule, late arrivals may enter if accompanied by law enforcement or released from the hospital.

Guests must leave the shelter at 7 a.m.

In another change this year, a paid staff person will be on hand from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. They are Dennis Kunselman and Jillian Becker, who work with paid hosts and shift volunteers to greet guests and get them settled for the night.

“Our staffing has gradually increased in recent years, starting with shelter hosts who have been on site the first three hours,” Kellems noted. This year, two to three staff including hosts, who are there the first two hours, will be at the shelter each night.

“Our goals for adding that staff is to incease safety,  consistency and stability, and lessening the burden for volunteers,” she said. “The hosts have really provided key consistency for the shelter the last several years.”

Another 35 community members were trained as volunteers this fall and more trainings will announced for dates in January.

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