BEND, OR -- With temperatures dipping into the teens and single digits overnight, Bend homeless shelters are gearing up to be able to take in more people. Chris Clouart, with the Bethlehem Inn, tells KBND News they're already seeing more people. "What we're seeing is many of the people who are out in the camps or sleeping rough around town are coming in because they know it's not safe. The interesting part is, it's not so difficult to stay warm if temperatures are cold enough to prevent snow from melting. When the snow starts melting - when temperatures get to be 40 or 45-degrees - everything gets wet and it can get extremely dangerous."
The Bethlehem Inn and the Shepherd's House should be able to handle everyone who needs shelter, without pressing area churches into service. "We'll have as many as 22 additional spaces, that's above and beyond our bed space, for anybody to come in just to stay warm overnight. We refer to that as an emergency one-night intake," says Clouart. "That means somebody's not interested in becoming a part of the Bethlehem Inn, they're not willing to do a full residency here. All they're interested in is getting off the street and staying warm."
Clourat says the Inn is in need of sleeping bags, tarps and ice melt to keep the parking lot clear. Overnight lows are expected to remain in the single digits through early next week.