Closed to traditional fitness Thursday, Sept. 10, due to the hazardous air quality's impact for those exercising, the Y facility will open from 12 to 8 p.m. for showering--- a need for those fleeing wildfires who have found smoke respite centers but no way to get clean.
"The Y assesses the changing needs of the community during any crisis and determines how we can best respond," said Eugene Family YMCA CEO Brian Steffen. "Our cities, county and local nonprofits reacted swiftly to create smoke respite centers, but they are unable to offer showers. It is our nature, our social responsibility, to step up where and when we are needed."
The Y will continue to offer showers to wildfire evacuees during normal operating hours on Friday and Saturday: Friday from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Two ADA-accessible showers are available on the Y's Pool Deck.
Compounding the wildfire crisis is the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Shower users will need to follow the Y's health and safety regulations related to coronavirus: wearing masks, physical distancing, completing a health screening and allowing time for sanitization.
"The fact that our communities' wildfire crisis is happening on top of the hardships created by COVID-19 is devastating," Steffen said. "Everyone is weary and exhausted from the tremendous challenges already experienced. Our hope is that the kindness and support offered by community members, agencies, nonprofits and businesses ease the burden placed on those currently without homes."
Those displaced by wildfires are encouraged to call 541.686.9622 or come to the Eugene Family YMCA at 2055 Patterson to be guided through the COVID-19 regulations in order to shower.
Who: People displaced by wildfires
What: Showers available at the Y
When: 12 to 8 p.m. Thursday; 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 8 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: 2055 Patterson St. in Eugene