ONTARIO, Oregon — Community in Action and Origins Faith Community Outreach Initiative in Ontario have started housing guests in a temporary home. The Tiny Shelter Project is an effort to provide a home for people experiencing homelessness.
“This week we’ve been working filling up our Tiny Shelter Project. We have 16 small tiny shelters that come equipped with cots, pillows, blankets, a tiny fridge and located next to our day shelter that we are partnered with,” Priscilla Garcia housing programs manager for the non-profit Community in Action said.
Garcia said they have partnered with Origins Faith Community and hope to help individuals facing difficult times.
“If you look around, homelessness has been an issue that has surrounded not just larger areas but rural areas as well,” Garcia said. “You don’t think it’s in smaller towns or communities, but it really has affected everyone.”
Heather Echeveste Executive Director of Origins Faith Community Outreach Initiative said they serve hot daily meals, showers and portable restrooms are available for the guest. They also give them hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and are making sure the individuals staying at the site are following COVID-19 guidelines.
“We are at least trying to provide some basic services to keep them warm, safe and hopefully find some good outcomes, permanent supportive housing, insurance if they need it even employment so they can support themselves,” Echeveste said.
Echeveste said last year they piloted the Tiny Shelter Project for about a month, now that it’s in full swing and welcoming guests, they hope to make a difference.
“Willing to work on their work plan along with all of us to ensure they do have outcomes that will last hopefully for the rest of their lives," Echeveste said.
Guests started to be housed on Dec. 30 and Garcia said they would be able to serve them until April 30.
“Within that time we want to look at case managing them and looking for more permanent housing solution and getting them in contact with other resources whether it be for mental health services,” Garcia said.
At the moment Garcia said they are looking to help those with disabilities, the elderly, families with children, veterans and domestic violence survivors. You can reach out to Community in Action at (541) 889-9555 to learn more about the efforts.