Temperatures are expected to plunge across Oregon, dropping below freezing overnight by Tuesday and staying there for the foreseeable future.
By this weekend, temperatures are expected to cool even more, with high temperatures stuck in the 30s and low temperatures dropping into the low 20s and even teens in parts of the Willamette Valley. Low-elevation snow will be possible, but there is limited precipitation in the forecast.
ARCHES will be activating the Salem Warming Network when temperatures dip below its threshold of 32 degrees.
Robert Marshall, emergency manager at the ARCHES project, said ARCHES is expecting to activate a warming shelter at Salem First Presbyterian Church, 770 Chemeketa St. NE, for this week and into the next.
The location will be able to accommodate 75 people, Marshall said, and provide them with shelter, blankets, warm beverages and light snacks throughout the night.
Marshall said they are also hoping to activate South Salem Friends Church, 1140 Baxter Road SE, but opening the second shelter will require additional volunteers.
“Right now, I can definitively say we’ll have the First Presbyterian site open,” he said.
Recent changes to the hours that ARCHES outreach teams are out in the field will also help the organization provide resources to Salem’s unsheltered during this stretch of cold weather, Marshall said. Outreach teams now work from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those hours will remain for the duration of the winter season, Marshall said.
“They’re primarily looking for folks who are further away from the shelter locations, looking for folks who are in need of a warm place to sleep and they have the ability to transport them directly to those emergency shelters,” he added.
The ARCHES Day Center at 615 Commercial St. NE also will be open with extended hours. The Day Center will open at 7 a.m. the day after shelter activation and close at 4:30 p.m.
Shuttles from the day center to warming shelters will be available until 8 p.m. Marshall added that Cherriots will also provide free transportation to and from emergency warming shelters free of charge.
An interactive map with locations of all daytime and nighttime shelters is available at tinyurl.com/3mms4f3w. The map includes shelters in Woodburn, Monmouth and Fall City and their hours.
Community members looking for ways to help can donate supplies such as gloves, socks, beanie caps and anything that helps keep people warm. Supplies can be dropped off at the ARCHES Day Center. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit mwvcaa.org/ and click on the banner at the top about the search for warming shelter volunteers.
Marshall said coordinators will reach out to people who apply to get them onboarded as “quickly as possible.”
A form is available to sign up to receive email and text alerts about emergency shelters on the website as well and people can call (971) 304-9211 for current shelter updates.
Statesman Journal reporter Zach Urness contributed to this article. Dianne Lugo is a reporter at the Statesman Journal covering state government and equity and social justice. You can reach her at email@example.com, 503-936-4811 or on Twitter @DianneLugo.