Union County: Warming Station Updates
After months of talk, facebook comments, meetings, and planning, the Union County Warming Station is finally moving forward. After originally being approved by the City Planning Commission on October 8, 2019, an appeal of that decision was filed on October 18, 2019. The meeting with the City Council did not happen until the 4th of December, and after the 21-day appeal period expired on December 30, the Warming Station got to work. The latest update posted on My Eastern Oregon said that the contractors and the Union County Warming Station board had a meeting last week, hoping to get the required updates to the site done and have the station up and running by the end of the month.
The mission of the Warming Station is to “offer safe and warm sleeping accommodations overnight during the winter months as well as food and warm drinks” according to their website. This will be a place for people who are homeless or couchsurfing to stay the night and get help. They have already been operating in La Grande for at least two years, opening up their doors to those who might need it when the winter of Eastern Oregon gets too harsh. Anyone over the age of 18 can volunteer at the station, after going through their training process to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
The main source of the debate that has been happening since October has revolved around the location the Warming Station was set to open up at this year, on third street near downtown. Many local businesses and local concerned citizens took their comments to the City Council meeting on December 4, but despite the concerns, the City Council ruled that the Warming Station was achieving every rule and regulation set in place for them to meet.
The Warming station will run as long as the weather bids it to. More personal updates are posted on their facebook page or their website, which also has information about volunteering and needed donation items.