Ashland reopens emergency severe weather shelter

Pioneer Hall on Winburn Way in Ashland in February. Drew Fleming photo
March 7, 2022

Freezing temps forecast for Wednesday and Thursday nights

By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news

With below freezing temperatures expected this week, Ashland’s emergency severe weather shelter will open again at 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

The shelter, at Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way, closes for the night at 9 p.m., with lights out at 10 p.m. It’s emphasized that the shelter is no frills, with no bedding or cots provided to those who stay. The shelter closes for the day each morning at 10 a.m.

Low temps will dip to 24 Wednesday night and 29 Thursday, the National Weather Service forecast on Monday.

“The emergency shelter is designed for people that are normally sleeping out (in the elements) anyway, they’re either sleeping out in tents or they’re sleeping out in cars,” said Avram Sacks, shelter coordinator. “It’s assumed that they will bring their own bedding with them.”

Sacks also emphasizes that the shelter turns no one away who exhibits good behavior.

“We’re a low barrier shelter, which means if people behave themselves, they can come in,” Sacks said.

Sacks sees people with a wide range of backgrounds come through, including those on wait lists for Section 8 housing, individuals who are sleeping in their cars for a few weeks or some who have just been evicted that are temporarily sleeping in their cars.

No matter the reason, they can find shelter at Pioneer Hall.

“The whole reason for a low barrier shelter is so nobody’s out there freezing to death in the cold like somebody did freeze in Medford a couple months ago,” Sacks said.

Dinner is served Wednesday and Thursday evening at the shelter and breakfast is served at each morning.

How can you help the shelter? Donations of clean blankets or sleeping bags from the community are welcome. Donations of pre-packaged Muffins, energy bars, banana bread and fruit are also welcomed to give to those staying at the shelter food to take with them when they leave the next day.

Restrooms are available at the shelter but showers are not, according to Sacks.

Masks are required and will be available on site.

Questions about the shelter? Contact Sacks at 541-220-7307.

Email Ashland.news reporter Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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