Ashland emergency winter shelter needs volunteers

Guests enter the emergency shelter at Pioneer Hall in Ashland in February. Drew Fleming photo
November 14, 2022

Training event set for Thursday, Nov. 17

Ashland’s emergency winter warming center needs volunteers, and agency officials are hosting a training event for anyone interested in helping at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way, according to a news release.

Attendees will train to be overnight shelter hosts, who “play an important role in managing a safe and secure environment for everyone,” the release said.

The shelter, which opens when temperatures drop to freezing levels, must have two hosts on site, the release said. On Monday, the National Weather Service forecast overnight low temperatures in the low 30s to upper 20s through at least Saturday, Nov. 19, in Ashland.

Shelter hosts greet guests when they arrive, review the rules, and help resolve potential conflicts that may arise, all intended to maintain a safe space. They are joined by a “fire watch” person on site, whose role is to stay awake all night and watch for potential fires. They are responsible for waking up overnight hosts, who are encouraged to get some sleep during the 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. time slot.

Host trainees will go over shelter rules and agreements and how to best enforce them. Officials will also discuss hosting styles and methods for managing the shelter. They will also learn about conflict de-escalation and troubleshooting other common problems.

“Organizers of the program will host a training for both experienced hosts and those who would like to learn what is involved in the role,” the release said.

Anyone who can’t attend this training but still have an interest should contact project coordinator Avram Sacks at 541-220-7307.

Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at betling@ashland.news or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

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