Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Donations taken for Open Doors Sleep Center

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | February 16, 2021 1:00 AM

Donations are being accepted for the Open Doors Sleep Center in Moses Lake through the Help for the Homeless drive at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center through March.

Donations can be dropped off at the museum, at 401 S. Balsam St., during business hours. Items needed include: bottled water, sleeping bags, wool blankets, travel size toiletries, razors, toothbrushes and feminine care products. (Reservations to visit the museum won’t be required starting Tuesday, as the region moved into Phase 2 Monday.)

Museum Director Dollie Boyd said she had the idea for the drive after reading about the sleep center’s success in an employee newsletter in January.

Hearing about the success of transitioning people into more stable living situations encouraged her to help.

“We’re the only part of the Civic Center open right now, I thought there might be some people in the community that wanted to bring things in, but they just didn’t know how to get it to the sleep center,” Boyd said.

Having the central location is a great spot for people to drop off donations, especially city employees who already work in the building, she said. Boyd said she has been working directly with Housing and Grants Coordinator Taylor Burton, who helps oversee the Open Doors Sleep Center.

Burton said the sleep center is an excellent resource, specially with winter weather during the weekend.

“The wind chill alone can present a danger to those living unsheltered,” Burton said. “Being able to utilize the Sleep Center provides shelter from that kind of factor. The guests can come in and have access to hot showers and a meal, as well as any other needs they may have such as hats, gloves and socks.”

Burton said Serve Moses Lake has been an integral partner for the Sleep Center, too, gathering donations and partnering with a local manufacturing company to produce hundreds of hygiene packs. He said Serve Moses Lake also delivers sack lunches each week and commended the Moses Lake community for stepping up to help the Sleep Center since it opened in 2020.

Among the items being asked for, Burton said cold weather gear seems to go quickly, which is expected due to the recent weather.

“The center runs essentially on donations and the community has provided a majority of the donations to keep the center stocked and able to provide those needed items to guests,” Burton said.

While donations were limited over the weekend due to inclement weather, Boyd said she was excited to see the bag of sleeping bags when she came to the museum on Saturday afternoon. She said she is hoping to fill the donation box as quickly as possible and get it to the center.

With the Basin covered in snow over the weekend, she said there are a lot of people seeking shelter.

Boyd added the museum has sought ways to give back to the community, which has been difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions. But, she said, the drive would continue if the need persists.

Casey McCarthy can be reached via email at cmccarthy@columbiabasinherald.com.