City-Sanctioned temporary shelter built at homeless overflow camp by volunteers

December 15 - On Dec. 9, the community came together to build a 10x10 shelter from the elements at the homeless overflow camp. Organized by Organized United Responsible (O.U.R.) Cottage Grove and approved by both the city and camp residents, the ‘Helping Hut’ shelter went up.

Immediately challenged by raging winds, the design was improved on the spot and fence posts and guy lines were installed to better anchor it. Constructed with PVC, rebar, tarps, pallets, duct tape, plywood, and zip ties, the shelter provides much needed protection from the elements for those who are living in a gravel lot with no protection other than flimsy tents and tarps.

Folks from the camp have been organizing themselves into a working mutual aid model to address their urgent needs. Distributing supplies, sharing resources, and creating shared values of self-reliance and collective responsibility, they have joined O.U.R. Cottage Grove as valuable members of the community of caring citizens here in Cottage Grove. Coordinating efforts include local non-profits, religious and civil groups. Camp residents and other local community members in the city are also doing their best to provide life-saving shelter to those who need it most.

Those interested in volunteering at a work-party or donating supplies can contact Venice Mason at: [email protected] for information on the next work party.

“With freezing nights and tough times, come the highest needs for people experiencing homelessness. Many hands make light work, and those who need it most deserve the best our community has to offer. Join us and be a light in these dark times,” the group said.

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