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The emergency shelter housed 40 different homeless men in its first year of operation

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Regeneration House leaders have benefitted throughout the year from the help of volunteers and donors to complete necessary upgrades.

The folks at Redemption House Ministries are celebrating the first anniversary of the Regeneration House men's shelter in its new location, and they invite the public to join them for a ceremony Jan. 25.

"We're going to be inviting community partners and everyone that's helped us out along the way," said Redemption House Ministries Executive Director Greg Sanders. "We're hoping for a good turnout, and we want to share what we're doing with the community."

They will host a commemorative tribute and Regeneration House one year anniversary celebration beginning at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 at the shelter, located on the Madras Highway.

Plans call for a plaque dedication ceremony honoring the late Teresa Iskra, a Prineville woman who bequeathed what Sanders called a large sum of money to be used for a homeless shelter in Prineville.

They will also dedicate plaques to Ermal and Verla Phillips, whose family estate gave Redemption House Ministries a discounted rate on the Madras Highway property.

Businesses, organizations and individuals who were instrumental in helping with the shelter as well as shelter volunteers will also be recognized during the event. Representatives from the City of Prineville and Crook County will be in attendance.

Redemption House Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit organization, operates both a men's shelter and a women and children's shelter in Prineville.

They needed to find a new location for Regeneration House, the emergency shelter for the homeless men in the community, after Crook County officials decided to build a jail on the site of their Northeast Second Street shelter, which had opened in January 2016.

In the summer of 2017, they purchased a manufactured module and land on the Madras Highway using funds from the estates of Iskra and the Phillips.

The shelter opened Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, with 10 men that first night.

It can house 16 men each night.

"Typically, we're close to full most nights with anywhere between 11 and 16 beds filled," Sanders reports, adding that 40 different individuals have stayed there over the last year.

The shelter provided 3,310 bed stays for homeless men between January and November last year. They have given out 6,288 meals and 3,204 showers.

Men are welcome to the shelter beginning at 6 p.m. each evening and must depart by 6 a.m. the following morning, unless there is any precipitation or it is 40 degrees or colder. On those days, they are welcome to stay until 8 a.m.

The guests get dinner, a shower, a bed and a sack breakfast. They may also do their laundry for a nominal fee. They must pay $1 or do a chore to earn their stay. Should the shelter be full, beds are awarded based on a lottery system.

Sanders said the first year has been very good, and the operation is running smoothly with few problems.

"The police have not given us any indication that they've had any problems with anything. There's been small little things in the community that we've addressed," he said.

However, they always need the community's support.

"Prineville has been really good about giving us support either financially or through in-kind gifts, so we're encouraged by that and also letting them know we're still going to be in need of that," Sanders said.

Redemption House Ministries employs only a small staff and is supported by volunteers and donations.

"Every amount of money, every gift that is given to us means we don't have to spend money on things, so that is always helpful," Sanders said. "Any volunteer hours help us cut cost on salaries."

The shelter always accepts items such as soap, toiletries, trash bags and disinfectants.

Volunteers can lend a hand by delivering food, helping with laundry, receiving and organizing donations, preparing and serving meals, or being available to assist in the shelters.

Sanders said they have accomplished most of the things on their conditional use permit issued by the City Planning Department. They still have to put a couple of trees in front of the air conditioning units in front of the building.

"Eventually at some point, when we're feeling financially stable enough, we're going to move towards a transitional model of housing where the guys will be able to stay at a length of time instead of just overnight," Sanders said. "We will have more interaction with them with possibly a growth coach or a case manager to help them get things moving in a positive direction in their lives so they can get back on their feet."

Sidebar

Regeneration House Ceremony

Date: 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25

Location: 970 NW Madras Highway, Prineville

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