UPDATE: Severe weather shelter to reopen in Washougal Thursday

St. Matthew Lutheran Church will not be open Wednesday

The severe weather shelter at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Washougal will not be open tonight, due to an inadequate number of volunteers. The temporary overnight shelter, at 716 Washougal River Road,, Washougal, will reopen at 6 p.m.,Thursday, Feb. 22, and stay open to 7 a.m. Friday.

Temperatures are expected to dip into the mid 20s Thursday, putting the area’s homeless population at risk.

The church opened as an overnight shelter for three men Sunday, Feb. 18, and two men Monday, Feb. 19.

“We made sure that our two guests had a ride available if they wanted to go to one of the shelters in Vancouver,” St. Matthew Pastor Bob Barber said Wednesday, regarding the previous night. “We also let them know that the Washougal police had a limited number of vouchers for the Rama Inn here in Washougal.”

Barber said there were 17 volunteers who each worked one of four shifts at the overnight shelter Sunday. Fifteen volunteers, including some of the same people who helped Sunday, also volunteered Monday night.

Salvation Army of Camas/Washougal Corps Assistant Jessica Wheeler said it is challenging to find volunteers to be at St. Matthew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

“Those are the hours that made it impossible to be open Tuesday and Wednesday,” Wheeler said.

Barber said Refuel Washougal has provided volunteers for the temporary, overnight shelter. Refuel Washougal also serves free dinners from 4 to 6:30 p.m., every Friday, in the Washougal Community Center at 1681 “C” St.

The Salvation Army of Camas/Washougal has provided the air mattresses and bedding, as well as volunteers, for the severe weather shelter at St. Matthew.

“We’re coordinating day shelter hours to support the overnight shelter efforts and helping spread awareness of the shelter through social media,” Wheeler said.

The Salvation Army community center is located at 1612 “I” St., Washougal. For more information, call 360-835-3171.

The volunteers at the severe weather shelter at St. Matthew have attended a training session, and they have undergone background checks.

For more information about volunteering at a severe weather shelter, contact Barber at 360-835-5533 or rbarber626@gmail.com.

Check The Post-Record at www.camaspostrecord.com and our Twitter and Facebook sites for updates about the emergency shelter.