Since 2008, the First Baptist Church of Beaverton has operated the city’s only emergency warming shelter, offering a warm place for people who are homeless to sleep when temperatures drop below freezing. But this year, the church says, it just can’t operate the warming shelter. Beaverton has a high unemployment rate, and the largest population of homeless students in the state.
Pastor Norm Langston says it was a very tough decision not to open the shelter this year, but concerns about safety — both for residents and volunteers — were just too great. Langston say he’s hoping that the gap in services will encourage other organizations to offer options for the city’s homeless population, especially in the cold winter months.