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Shelter from the storm

The good folks at the Forest Grove United Church of Christ had plenty of legitimate reasons to say 'no' when asked to let a couple dozen outsiders sleep inside when the weather turns frigid. After all, there's risk and liability inherent in inviting strangers into your building. And, it's tough enough to round up volunteers willing to give a few hours of their day, let alone their entire night.

But last week, after temperatures plummeted to the low 20s, the members of the local congregation put aside their anxieties and opened the doors to people who are homeless.

It was, in the words of church member Eric Canon, a tribute to 'what happens when fear is put aside and human love takes over along with great faith, courage and dedication.'

And, as Canon will be the first to admit, it was only a temporary solution to a much wider problem facing the 1,200-plus people who have no place to call home in Washington County. Still, the members of the church and a handful of others throughout the county deserve credit for carrying out the county's new Severe Weather Response Plan .

Bugs in the plan? Sure. But volunteers at the UCC are a dogged bunch. We hope they'll work them out and keep bringing homeless people in from the cold until the spring thaw comes.