04-30-2017  9:19 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

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OPINION

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

With severe weather predicted through Friday, day and night warming centers are open. For a full list of shelter hours and locations visit 211info.org/emergency/#multnomah (link is external)

City and County leaders are encouraging homeless people to seek shelter and continue to ask the public to watch out for those most vulnerable and donate cold weather gear.  The City and County's Joint Office of Homeless Services will continue to monitor weather conditions and open emergency warming centers when needed.

At these low temperatures there is increased risk of exposure-related injuries for unsheltered homeless people who do not have sufficient gear, such as coats, hats, gloves, footwear, tarps, sleeping bags and blankets.

Donations Needed:  Homeless service organizations are still in need of durable cold weather gear, especially sleeping bags, blankets, tents and tarps. Other useful items include hats, coats, gloves, and socks. For information about what and where to donate, please visit the 211 website http://211info.org/donations (link is external).

Warming Shelters: Warming centers are open in Portland and Gresham with capacity during day and night.  Anyone seeking shelter in Multnomah County should call 211info by dialing 211, toll free, from any phone. 211 will help identify the closest available shelter and transportation options. Call are answered at any hour and in over 150 languages. Due to high call volumes, it is faster to visit 211's website at www.211info.org (link is external) for updated information and sign up for emails or texts about updated warming center locations. The shelter list can be accessed online at 211info.org/emergency/#multnomah (link is external). An interactive map of the nearest warming centers is also available here (link is external).  Severe weather centers will accommodate individuals and couples, pets and belongings, and do not require identification or any other documentation.  211 has information on who is served at each shelter. Families with children seeking shelter should call 211 and will be directed to a shelter that can accommodate children.

Persons in Need of Assistance:  If you see someone outside unsheltered whose life appears to be in danger or is in an apparent medical crisis, call 911.  Otherwise, if you see someone about whom you are concerned, such as not being dressed for the weather conditions, call police non-emergency (503) 823-3333 and request a welfare check for that person.  To assist someone in locating shelter and transportation to shelter, please call 211.

Public Buildings:  People seeking to get warm, especially during daytime hours, are encouraged to utilize public buildings that are open. The Portland Building on 1120 SW 5th Ave, will serve as a severe weather warming center today. Inclement weather has forced the closure of many public buildings. The public is advised to call or check public websites before seeking shelter at public buildings like community centers.  Daytime warming shelters are open. Check 211info.org (link is external) for a list of available daytime warming centers.

Hypothermia, carbon monoxide and dangers of cold: Frigid temperatures can pose safety and health risks for anyone, particularly those who are most vulnerable like young children, older adults or people who remain outdoors for long periods of time. During this cold weather, check on friends, relatives or neighbors who live alone. Learn about the signs of conditions like hypothermia, which can mimic symptoms of impairment from drugs and alcohol.

Read more about symptoms of hypothermia and dangers of cold including carbon monoxide hazards and important information on the use of alternative sources of heat at multco.us/multnomah-county/news/dangers-cold. 

Multnomah County offers mental health crisis resources, at any hour, for anyone experiencing a crisis.  Mental health clinicians can provide direct phone assistance to individuals experiencing mental-health crisis including: escalated symptoms of agitation, anxiety, depression, psychosis, dangerousness to self or others, substance use, etc.  Call 503-988-4888 or visit the Multnomah County Mental Health Crisis Intervention website for more information.  

CONTACT: Communications Coordinator, Jessica Morkert-Shibley, (971) 563-3735

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