Egan Warming Center activated for winter

Egan Warming Centers,  administered by St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County (SVdP), have opened for the cold-weather season.

Egan host sites can change through the cold season based on availability. 

There are three warming  centers, including the Springfield site at the Springfield Memorial Building, 765 A St., open at 6:30 p.m. 

Egan program managers monitor multiple weather-forecasting systems and activate warming  sites in Eugene and Springfield whenever average overnight temperatures are projected to dip  below 30 degrees. During an activation, trained volunteers open each warming center in the evening and operate it through the morning.

They provide guests with sleeping pads  and blankets, warm drinks and meals, hospitality, basic first aid and more – all  inside heated host sites offering protection from the dangerous conditions outside. 

The Egan Warming Centers program is named for Major Thomas Egan, an unhoused veteran  who froze to death while sleeping outside in Eugene during a 2008 cold spell. 

“It’s a tragic story,” said Tim Black, SVdP’s winter strategies and emergency response coordinator. “He didn’t have a place where he could go that night where he would have been  welcome, and it could have saved his life if he did.” 

Organized to ensure that the end of Egan’s life story is never repeated, the warming centers receive funding from Lane County and support from community members, service providers, nonprofits, faith and activist communities, and local government. 

For more information: Or text  the word “Join” to 541-730-3071 to receive alerts about Egan’s activation status.

Donations needed 

■ Egan Warming Centers also has an ongoing need for donations to sustain  its lifesaving service through every cold season. 

Tax-deductible donations can be made via a secure online form at, or with checks noting EWC on the memo line and made payable to  St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc., P.O. Box 24608, Eugene, OR 97402. 

The warming centers also continually need certain material donations – namely warm,  weatherized gloves, coats and shoes –that can help shelter guests survive in harsh  winter weather conditions even outside of activation periods. Donations can be dropped off,  clearly marked for Egan, at St. Vinnie’s Seneca donation site, 705 S. Seneca Road in Eugene. 

Customers at any St. Vinnie’s location in the Lane County area will be able to  donate materials intended for Egan by placing them in an in-store donation barrel. 

Food/drink donations in support of Egan Warming Centers should go through FOOD for Lane  County. Most-needed items include coffee and tea, canned soups, bread, condiments, pastries, juice, milk, bottled water, cookies, crackers and chips, fruit, sugar, creamer, lettuce and cheese. 



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