An upstairs room at Origins Faith Community church in Ontario will soon house the New Hope Day Shelter. The space was renovated to include a shower and laundry. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

ONTARIO – After months of prep and anticipation, Ontario’s only day shelter for the homeless is set to open next week with a grand opening celebration set for Wednesday, Nov. 13. The public is invited to stop by from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for coffee and refreshments. 

The New Hope Day Shelter inside Origins Faith Community, an Ontario church, has been months in the making. 

The shelter, 312 N.W. 2nd St., is a partnership between Origins and Community in Action, an Ontario-based nonprofit. 

The site will open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Roughly 30 people can fit in the space, which is equipped with a shower, computers and a phone.

“Nobody will get turned away,” said Alec Stinson, New Hope Day Shelter director. “We’re aiming at 30, but I'm sure we can manage to serve more in different capacities if we need to.” 

Stinson said the shelter would be spreading the word online, through fliers and through word of mouth. They are also reaching out to local social service agencies to let people know about the space. 

“Stop by and see what's going on,” said Stinson. “That’s where the awareness comes in, you can't really understand what we’re doing unless you see it for yourself.” 

Stinson said the goal is to use the space as much as possible. Down the line the shelter intends to partner with agencies and community members who wish to donate their time for services such as hair cutting and help filling job applications. 

In a press release Wednesday, James Vogt, pastor at Origins Faith Community, thanked Ontario City Council member Freddy Rodriguez. Vogt also extended thanks to Benny’s Landscaping, Stan’s Heating & Cooling, and Pete Campbell Electric for recent financial contributions.

HOW TO HELP

The New Hope Day Shelter currently needs at least six volunteers per shift to help out with their meal site Monday through Thursday. The site cooks, serves and cleans up in less than four hours. The site needs volunteers who have a food service license or are willing to get one with the church’s assistance. Volunteers are needed from 10 a.m. to noon for meal prep, and from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for serving. If you can’t commit to the entire time, they also accept volunteers for portions of the mealtime. You can join for as little as one day a week or every day. Once the day shelter is fully open, they will need volunteers from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

 Other ways to help 

Day Shelter “Hosts” are needed to work with the director by welcoming and overseeing those who are using the day shelter. 

The site is also looking for help with special one time or monthly / yearly events. 

Do you have a unique skill you want to share that may help meet a need like haircutting/styling, computer skills, or job application assistance? 

For questions or to let the site know how you can help, contact: NewHopeOntario@gmail.com

Other needed donations include: 

Dry and canned goods, non-expired and in good condition

Bottled water

Coffee, non dairy creamer, sugar

Toiletries including: travel sized soaps, shampoos, tooth paste, shaving cream, lotions; disposable razors, toilet paper, famine hygiene products, deodorant 

New socks and under garments 

Large garbage bags 

Paper towels 

Kleenex boxes and travel packs 

Backpacks

Hair brush/combs 

Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen

White bath towels 

Hand/diaper wipes 

Read more Enterprise stories about folks without a home in Ontario:

Solutions remain elusive as Ontario grapples with homeless issues

Homeless in Ontario: A hand up, not a handout

VIDEO: Homeless folks in Ontario share their stories

Government crews clear out Ontario homeless camps

DHS steps in to help folks without a home

Have a news tip? Reporter Yadira Lopez: yadira@malheurenterprise.com or 541-473-3377

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