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COLD NIGHT: Martin Angeles settles into his chair and cot Wednesday night at the Victor Valley Emergency Shelter, which the Victor Valley Rescue Mission is hosting at the High Desert Event Center. The rescue mission will be hosting the shelter for the homeless whenever overnight lows are forecasted to be below 33 degrees.

Emergency shelter opens at High Desert Event Center

Facility open during nights when temperature drops below 33 degrees

With recent temperatures dropping below freezing at night, and more cold weather to come, the Victor Valley Rescue Mission has taken on the responsibility of providing a safe shelter for those in need.

Located at the High Desert Event Center on Seventh Street in Victorville, the Victor Valley Emergency Shelter opened on Wednesday night, offering a warm place from the harsh elements.

The rescue mission and the American Red Cross, along with several other community organizations and volunteers, are working together to bring this aid to High Desert individuals and families.

Plans for the shelter began last year as the rescue mission started to build the foundation for a kind of community relief effort, and it was able to bring the final pieces into place and open this year.

“Having this kind of emergency shelter is always part of the plan for any rescue mission,” said Ron Wilson, director for the rescue mission. “The (event center) is perfect because it is already a designated emergency area for the Red Cross.”

Many contributing local organizations, churches and volunteers have offered their support for this program but it will take continued support and community volunteers to keep the facility open and operable, according to Wilson.

The rescue mission welcomes organizations that would like to partner to help with this operation as well as any individuals in the community looking to give back.

“There are so many people who want to help and do something, but they don’t know where to start or how to do it,” said Susan Conway, rescue mission board member and volunteer. Conway encourages organizations and volunteers to bring their efforts and resources together to create a larger more effective type of assistance program.

The Red Cross is helping by providing professional training and volunteers. At this time the only service provided will be shelter during nights when the temperature drops below 33 degrees. The rescue mission currently offers other services, such as food and showers, at other locations.

For volunteer information, call the Victor Valley Rescue Mission at (760) 955-5958.

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