News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

SOCC warming center deemed a success

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

By Stephen Floyd

The Santiam Outreach Community Center (SOCC) has called the first warming center a success, and feels prepared to deploy again if harsh winter weather returns.

The warming center opened Dec. 25, 2021, during a cold snap with temperatures in single digits. Over the next eight days, the center hosted around a dozen guests, with three staying overnight, who were treated to warm food and drinks, movies, board games and company.

Communications Manager Jill Bird said they were happy to be a resource for those in need, and would have been pleased if only one person had dropped by. If the region sees a repeat of freezing weather, such as the ice storm from February 2021, Bird said they are ready to re-deploy.

“We have all the supplies we need now, we have the staff on board for on-call anytime it gets below 34 degrees,” she said.

SOCC opened in August of 2019 through a partnership between Recovery Outreach Community Center and Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action. They offer free services related to trauma and addiction recovery, emotional and physical wellbeing, creative expression and fostering relationships.

Because their focus is on the community, Bird said they are frequently exploring new programs to meet the needs they see in Santiam residents. 

They just completed a free vaccine clinic that performed better than expected, while upcoming programs include a workshop on eating for health and wellness, a support group for smoking cessation, and a support group for those living with chronic illness. 

Bird said residents don’t need to be part of a program just to drop by. Anyone interested in a friendly chat, a chance to vent or a space to decompress is welcome during their drop-in hours 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday to Saturday.

“Our drop-in center is for anyone,” she said.

SOCC is located at 280 Santian Blvd., in Mill City. A calendar of events is available through their Facebook page.

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