BEND, OR -- With sub-freezing termperatures and snow continuing to pile up, Shepherd's House Ministries is asking for the public's help to care for the homeless at shelters the non-profit manages. Development Director David Notari tells KBND News, "All of our shelters are greatly impacted. At this point, we've doubled our numbers from a normal night, and then there's several that come in and they touch our services, but don't spend the night, and we don't necessarily know how many more of those there are, but it definitely has an impact."
Notari says shelters in Bend, Sisters, Madras and Redmond have cared for more than 100 people a night, during this latest storm and staff and volunteers have a hard time keeping up with everyone's needs, "I think the thing to know is that the homeless population is not going down at all. We've seen an increase, and we're slated to see a larger increase over the next two years, of homelessness." He adds, "When these weather events occur, like we've seen in the last couple days and the huge dip in temperatures, we just need to be able to meet those needs." According to Notari, Shepherds House is also working to pick people up and shuttle them to the nearest shelter so they can be fed. And they're staying open longer than normal hours.
He asks the community to help with donations. Notari says monetary donations are most important, to help the nonprofit purchase what's needed, "The biggest donations people can bring in, besides monetary donations, would be handwarmers, thermal underwear, and then we have huge needs for socks, and then also for gloves and hats." For more information, visit the Shepherd's House website.