Oregon City extends emergency shelter permitting
While city offices across the state were closed to the public, Oregon City officials extended emergency permitting exemptions to allow a nonprofit organization to continue sheltering homeless people during the COVID-19 epidemic.
During a March 13 emergency meeting, Father's Heart Street Ministry received permission from city commissioners to continue operating as a homeless shelter when temperatures get below 33 degrees, including wind chill.
Father's Heart Executive Director Robin Schmidt said that since opening for the season in November, the homeless-service center provided a total of 1,937 beds over 53 nights.
"During the nights that we served as a temporary warming shelter we complied to all requirements for proper supervision, fire watch, and intake forms of the Homeless Management Information System," Schmidt wrote to city officials. "It was our pleasure to serve and the Father's Heart Street Ministry would like to thank you for granting us the opportunity to serve the vulnerable of our community."
Father's Heart received a donation of 35 boxed lunches on March 18, paid for by the Oregon City Rotary Club. Punky Scott, who owns the Bomber Restaurant in Oak Grove, said it was one of the last big orders she received before the business closed its doors this week, along with McMenamins throughout the region who laid off about 3,000 employees.
"We wanted to be fair to our employees who can begin to collect unemployment benefits now," Scott said. "We're not really set up for much take-out business, although we had some cabbage and corned beef orders for St. Patrick's Day, and our industry really relies on tips."
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