Homeless fear police at Pendleton warming center

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PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- An Eastern Oregon town's homeless population is wary of a new warming center because they fear police will conduct checks for outstanding warrants and arrest them.

Pendleton police told the East Oregonian (http://bit.ly/sIuJvT ) that the homeless should have no such concerns.

Some people also voiced concerns that the warming center, which operates from a Pendleton home, asks people who stay overnight to leave at 6 a.m.

Warming station organizers originally had hoped to keep the facility open until 7 a.m., but bowed to concerns brought to Pendleton City Council about mixing the homeless with students walking to Washington Elementary School, a block away.

Ryan Lehnert of the Pendleton Police Department says the center's purpose is to keep the homeless warm and out of the elements.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info