ONTARIO — The New Hope Kitchen, which has been offering free meals to people in need and others, is expanding its services to become The New Hope Day Shelter.

This new service will begin Wednesday with the grand opening of the New Hope Day Shelter at the Origins Faith Community building located at 312 N.W. Second St. in Ontario. Members of the public are invited to drop in from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to look over the renovated facility and have light snacks and coffee.

The shelter will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide shelter from the weather, rain or shine, and a safe place to be for a few hours per day, according to Jim Vogt, pastor of the church.

The new day shelter is a partnership between Origins Faith Community, which has been operating the meal site and will be overseeing the shelter, and Community in Action, which is providing much of the funding and will continue to do that, said Barb Higinbotham, executive director of Community in Action.

To prepare for the day shelter, Vogt said the building had to be made more accessible, with a new ramp, improve the sidewalks so users could get to the ramp and a shower was added, which will require some arrangement for taking turns. There will also be phone service, he said.

The number of people showing up for the afternoon meals varies greatly, Vogt said and can be anywhere from 10 to 30. While there are enough volunteers to help with the meals additional volunteers are needed to over see the days shelter, he said.

“We fund it,” Higinbotham said, noting that there will also be a washer and dryer at the site for the people that use the shelter, plus Work Source Oregon Computers.

“This is a great asset to have in the community,” she said.

Other partners who of have helped in opening the shelter with financial contributions have included Ontario City Council member Freddy Rodriquez, Benny’s Landscaping, Stan’s Heating and Cooling, and Peter Campbell Electric.

Larry Meyer is a news reporter at The Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4813 or by emailing larrym@argusobserver.com. To comment on this story, go to www.argusobserver.com.

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