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

Warming center eases wild weekend

It was a cold, snowy, icy weekend in the Santiam Canyon. Schools were closed, athletic events were canceled, King holiday plans were torpedoed and some enterprising community members decided to take action and open a warming center.

Almost instantaneously.

Knowing that the closest such facility to Stayton and the Canyon for the homeless and others in need of getting out of the cold was in Salem, Kim Dwyer and her Service Integration Team at Santiam Hospital, did a quick Facebook poll to gauge the need and then spread the word about the plan and the logistical issues such a project would require.

By 7 p.m. Friday night, Jan. 12, the center was open in a room donated by the Stayton Public Library. The center continued to operate through mid-day Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Dwyer and her team let the community know that they needed assistance and residents responded:

• Stayton Police Department volunteered officers and also transported individuals and even delivered a prescription to a participant.

• The City of Stayton volunteered staffers and the use of the library.

• Salem-based Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency/Arches provided mats and bedding

• Stayton Animal Supply contributed pet food.

• Debs Attic donated clothing.

• Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant, Third Avenue Eatery and the Covered Bridge Cafe helped out by donating dinners and breakfasts.

• And numerous community members dropped by and donated supplies from a list posted on social media.

More than a dozen unique individuals were served at the warming center and Melissa Baurer of the Service Integration team said “Santiam Hospital and Clinics is proud of the SIT program for pivoting to serve the community during this time of need and super impressed with the wraparound services provided.”

“This was not just a place to get warm. People were provided with services, referrals, and direct connections to service providers.”

Dwyer plans to follow up on the referrals made during the warming center’s operation and work to link the participants to primary care and social services such as Bridgeway Recovery Services, Westcare, Easter Seals and Be Bold Ministries. 

The coming weekend is likely to be much less adventurous, but the Canyon likely will continue to see periods of rain. 

Consumer Power reports extensive outages in the Detroit and Idanha area. While crews are working to restore power, outages may last through Sunday. Detroit City Hall will be open during business hours for residents to access power for essential devices. For information contact Detroit City Hall, 503-854-3496.

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