MADRAS, OR -- Managers of the Madras Warming Shelter are looking back on the long winter. "We had a total of 116 nights open, which are 100 more than we projected," says Director Pat Abernathy. "We had a total of 1,458 dinners, plus we also did breakfasts and brown bag lunches each day for our guests. The total guest nights were 1,164, that means how many beds we filled in the five month period that we were open."
Abernathy says she most celebrates the contributions to the greater community, "We have the guests that secured a job: 16 people; and 19 went into rehab or into housing. We feel like we changed the culture of Jefferson County by loving these people." And, she tells KBND News, they saved lives, "We had six people at once get pneumonia, and this was during the really bad cold storms that we had in February. Thankfully, we had been feeding these people for two months and giving them a warm place to sleep. Had we not been, I think we probably would've lost some of them this year."
The winter shelter rotates between several different churches. It's a joint operation between the Jefferson County Faith Based Network, Shepherd's House Ministries, and Madras Gospel Mission. Abernathy will update the Madras City Council on the season and the shelter's progress, at Tuesday evening's Council meeting.