Quantcast

'Warming centers' open for transient population seeking shelter - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

'Warming centers' open for transient population seeking shelter from cold

Posted: Updated:
(KSBY) (KSBY)

With frigid overnight temperatures in the North County, the transient population has to find a way to stay warm each and every night.

A sleeping bag doesn't always cut it, but it's a reality that many have to face.

"It gets really cold. You learn to sleep with your shoes on because if you take your shoes off, in the morning they're shoe-cicles. You can't get them on and it's like walking on ice cubes," said David Williamson, who has been homeless since January. "You learn to sleep with shoes on put on a bunch of layers, zip yourself in a sleeping bag and use your breath to keep you warm."

The El Camino Homeless Organization- or ECHO- provides hot meals, showers, and shelter in Atascadero.

"Echo shelter is a lifeline for a lot of people," said Neil O'Donnell, who has been transient for two years.

The shelter can only take in about 50 people, and clients have to go through an application process for a warm bed.

"We're pretty much full now that the winter has kicked in. A lot of families have come in," said Delaila Vallejo, ECHO's volunteer coordinator.

Warming centers can help fill that gap. They do not require an application and there is plenty more room for sleeping bags.

The warming center inside Saint Williams Church only opens when it's under 40 degrees outside or raining, which goes a long way for those with no other options.

"When it rains, you're forced to go underneath the bridges where its dirty and gross. Or you're forced to go to businesses, underneath their awnings, which puts you at risk for getting arrested for illegal camping," said Williamson.

Volunteers at the warming center say last winter they had around 20 people seek shelter on any given night, and they expect numbers to rise this season.

About 90 percent of food, sleeping bags and winter clothes that are handed out are donations. ECHO hands out about ten sleeping bags a night, so donations are always welcome and needed.

ECHO managers say each shelter runs on volunteers, and can always use a helping hand.

If you're interested in donating or volunteering, you can visit the ECHO website.

Top Trending Videos

WEATHER
Doppler Radar
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Highway 101 closure in Montecito to last another week

    Highway 101 closure in Montecito to last another week

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 7:16 AM EST2018-01-16 12:16:20 GMT
    Work continued Monday on Highway 101 in the Montecito area. (KSBY)Work continued Monday on Highway 101 in the Montecito area. (KSBY)

    Caltrans says it hopes to have some sort of timeline Monday on when Highway 101 may reopen in the Montecito area.

    Caltrans says it hopes to have some sort of timeline Monday on when Highway 101 may reopen in the Montecito area.

  • Parents suspected of keeping kids chained in California home

    Parents suspected of keeping kids chained in California home

    Monday, January 15 2018 5:51 PM EST2018-01-15 22:51:02 GMT
    Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to a California home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, with some of them malnourished and chained to beds.
    Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to a California home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, with some of them malnourished and chained to beds.
  • Sutthithepa family members remembered after deadly mudslides

    Sutthithepa family members remembered after deadly mudslides

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 12:10 PM EST2018-01-16 17:10:48 GMT
    Photo courtesy: Facebook/Pinit SutthithepaPhoto courtesy: Facebook/Pinit Sutthithepa

    In the wake of the deadly mudslides, family and friends are mourning the loss of Pinit "Oom" Sutthithepa, 30, Peerwat "Pasta" Sutthithepa, six, and Robert "Loring" Taylor, 79.

    In the wake of the deadly mudslides, family and friends are mourning the loss of Pinit "Oom" Sutthithepa, 30, Peerwat "Pasta" Sutthithepa, six, and Robert "Loring" Taylor, 79.

Powered by Frankly

© KSBY.com 2018, KSBY.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?