Egan Warming Centers are low-barrier shelters, says Eileen Sigler of St. Vincent de Paul. St. Vinnie’s administers the service at nine sites around Eugene/Springfield. Being low barrier is important, Sigler says, because whether a guest is high, drunk or suffering mental health issues, an Egan Warming Center will serve them.
“That allows people in the community that would not normally have a place to go have a safe warm space to get a hot meal or a place to sleep,” she says.
On Friday, Dec. 14, Tsunami Books will host Caldera Songwriters’ Circle Seventh Annual Egan Warming Center Benefit. Laura Golden of Caldera Songwriters’ Circle says the group was born from the songwriting camp associated with Sisters Folk Festival.
A group from Eugene went to the camp, she adds, and decided to keep it going throughout the year, getting together at each other’s houses to share new material.
Caldera-member Beth Wood, a folk musician formerly of Eugene but now living in Portland, heard the Egan Warming Center story and came up with the idea to do the benefit concert. Wood will return to Eugene to appear at this year’s benefit.
“Everybody plays one song,” Golden explains. “We let the audience write haiku. It’s become such a beautiful event.” The music covers a broad range of acoustic styles. “From straight-up folk to modern singer-songwriter,” she adds. “Some of it’s jazzy, some of it leans into rock ’n’ roll.” There’s also political and social commentary, she says.
As part of the benefit, St. Vinnie’s is asking for any and all cold-weather supplies, from clothes and blankets to gloves, socks or toiletries. “It’s a really special thing,” Sigler adds. “Music brings people together. It’s an equalizer in a way that many other art forms can’t do. I am so grateful for this benefit.” ν
Caldera Songwriters’ Circle Seventh Annual Egan Warming Center Benefit is 7:30 pm Friday, Dec. 14, at Tsunami Books; $5-$20 suggested donation, all-ages.