The SSS Warming Shelter will be located at Oak Street Church ( 502 Oak Street ) and will open for the winter of 2018-2019 starting the night of November 23rd. The Shelter operating hours will be from 9pm to 7am, and will provide cots, mats, blankets, a hot meal, and coffee and breakfast snacks to go. This shelter is open to individuals and families who seek shelter during winter weather. Historically this shelter has been generously hosted by local churches and we are actively seeking our own space to expand warming shelter operations and capacity.
SSS is working to open a Day Center by late fall of 2018. This Day Center would be open Monday through Friday and provide a safe, welcoming space for people experiencing homelessness to rest, access case management services, resource referrals, mail service, computers for personal use, and community. The Day Center will be a place to belong for community members who can’t always find that. We hope that as our services expand, we are able to provide job training and employment connections, free clothing and camping gear, and access to shower facilities.
Emergency and transitional shelter for people experiencing homelessness is needed in Silverton. Due to the diverse makeup of individuals in this circumstance, we pursue diverse sheltering solutions. Partnerships with local congregations have allowed us to provide emergency warming shelter services as well as the development of year-round transitional shelter for women. We seek to provide more stable places for people to sleep and live on their path to permanent housing.
SSS is partnering with St. Edward’s Cottages to support women who are homeless through the provision of transitional tiny house shelter, case management, and community. We seek other community partners to expand transitional shelter and permanent housing opportunities for our unhoused neighbors.
Meals: In Silverton, we feed our people. We are blessed with multiple opportunities for people struggling with hunger and food insecurity, including those who are homeless. Currently three churches provide weekly meals that are free and open to all. Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA) provides weekly food pantry access for the homeless and Mission of Hope also provides food boxes. The Silverton Area Warming Shelter offers free dinners and convenience breakfast foods while in operation. SSS seeks to support increased access to food on the four days each week where there are no regularly scheduled community meals.
Laundry: Community volunteers have organized to provide free laundry services at Laundry Depot on a bi-weekly basis. SSS supports and advises this work. We are actively seeking grassroots activities like the Wash Day laundry services to meet the ongoing physical needs of the unhoused. Our Advisory Collaborative will meet regularly to assess needs and support or develop programs to meet those needs.
Showers & Sanitation: We provide hygiene kits to the unhoused. The YMCA provides free access to pool shower facilities for people who are homeless. Tokens to access the showers can be obtained at SACA. SSS seeks additional opportunities for people to access daily sanitation facilities.
We affirm that individuals are the primary agents of change in their own lives, and we seek to empower people experiencing homelessness to support each other, share information and resources, and advocate for a community response to homelessness. We also believe that we all need champions when we are struggling and where we are able, we will lend our voices to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves. We employ a strength-based approach to case-management and advocacy, both at the individual and community level. Working in a small town affords us the opportunity to work creatively to coordinate community based supports for individuals.
We believe that every community has a responsibility to care for its members, and that meaningful, life-changing support comes not only from large centralized social services but from neighbors helping neighbors. Every community understands its own unique needs, challenges, and resources. As such, we are committed to supporting local initiatives to create safe spaces, authentic relationships, and person to person support for people in crisis.
Current economic conditions tell us that the housing crisis will continue and low-income Oregonians will continue to fall into homelessness. Advocating for affordable local housing solutions, social services, and fair treatment of our unhoused neighbors is the privilege and responsibility of our organization.