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A Place To Sleep in Cold Weather
When Egan Warming Centers are activated, specific locations will be listed here. Egan sites may change throughout the winter. Be sure to check current activation status for the most up-to-date information.
Services at Egan Warming Centers
With help from local government, public safety, faith communities and many community partners, Egan Warming Centers’ volunteers provide meals and a safe place to sleep on dangerously cold nights. Warming center sites are available to anyone in the community.
Egan Warming Centers is a program of St. Vincent de Paul whose mission is simple: ensure that unsheltered people in Lane County have a place to sleep indoors when temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Egan Warming Centers operate during the cold weather months, opening when the overnight temperatures are projected to be below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Please note: In our protocol we deal with averaged forecasted temperatures and actual temperatures can end up being very different. We recognize Oregon temperatures can change rapidly.
St. Vincent de Paul is honored to serve as the lead agency for Egan Warming Centers. This program is made possible by our amazing volunteers with support and direction from St. Vincent de Paul.
New volunteer orientation December 1 at 6:30 p.m. No registration required — attend Zoom meeting HERE.
Thank You To Our Sponsors!
The program receives funding from Lane County and support from a broad coalition of community members, service providers, nonprofits, faith and social activists, communities, and local government. Following are some of the organizations that make Egan Warming Center a reality. Interested in joining us in this effort? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Burrito Brigade
- Carry It Forward
- Catholic Community Services
- Central Lutheran Church
- City of Eugene
- City of Springfield
- Ebbert United Methodist Church
- Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine
- Episcopal Church of the Resurrection
- Eugene 4J School District
- Eugene Bethel School District
- Eugene Police Department
- First Christian Church of Eugene
- Eugene First United Methodist Church
- FOOD for Lane County
- Lane County
- Lane County Fire and EMS
- Lane Transit District
- Looking Glass
- Springfield Police Department
- Springfield School District
- Seventh Day Adventist Church
- St. Marys Episcopal Church
- Temple Beth Israel
- Trinity United Methodist Church
- Twelfth Night
- Valley Covenant Church
- White Bird
Who was Thomas Egan?
Born in New York, his mother died when he was young and he had no siblings. Tom was a romantic, who always felt that his life would work out if only a few things would fall into place. After he got his master’s degree he struggled to find work. He had a few close relationships with women that didn’t work out. He took up horseback riding in his 30’s and rode at least twice in the Rose Parade in Portland with the Eugene Equestrian Team. He adored black-eyed susans. Tom was a history buff, in particular American history. When I told him that my grandfather had owned a company called, “Folsom Arms” he rattled off more information about the company then I even knew. He also loved firearms, although I never saw him with a gun nor was he a hunter. The Oregon National Guard gave his life stability and direction and he loved being a member of it, although he often railed about the incompetence of bureaucracies.
Tom was also quite a prankster and loved a good joke. Cooking was not a strong point with Tom. The only food I ever saw him buy or cook was Spam. I once asked Tom to grab a zucchini for me while we were in the grocery store and he had to read the signs to figure out which vegetable it was.
Although a very generous friend, he did not know how to accept help. Once when he was in the service and coming home from Korea for a visit he walked close to 15 miles during the winter in the night and with his duffel bag, rather then make a call to a houseful of people who would have happily gone and gotten him. He loved good tools, and I still own a sheetrock square and a set of metric tools he bought for me. There were times when Tom made enough money to have bought himself good stereos, cars, clothes but he never wanted many material possessions and lived a simple life.
While in the army in Korea he saved a small black and white dog from being thrown into the cooking pot. He spent thousands of dollars but managed to get his beloved “Ralph” back to the country with him, where he lived the rest of his life with Tom.
To the best of my knowledge, Tom was not getting any form of social security but was living on just over $600 a month he was receiving from the sale of his childhood home. That check came monthly and paid for rent, food, and beer and not much else. After he became homeless, he was trying to save up enough money for a deposit to rent an apartment, although he did have the opportunity to move into some sort of veterans’ housing. He chose not to do that, possibly because it would have involved rules and sobriety.
Tom was looking forward to few things, but one thing he looked forward to was turning 60 and getting his army pension. I saw him several months before his 60th birthday and he told me that the form he needed to fill out required him to provide just about every pay stub he’d ever gotten, but he assured me it was all in his trunk. I offered to help him with the paperwork, but he didn’t answer, and he claimed he didn’t have the form with him. Having given up on trying to get him to get his cataracts fixed, helping to get Tom to fill out his army pension papers was the next thing on my to-do list the next time I saw him.
Tom made choices, choices many of us will never understand. Nobody knew the whole man, but only the sides he chose to show us. The last man he showed us was a frozen and dead homeless man with half a bottle of vodka at his side, and he deserved to be seen as more than that. Much more.