03-20-2018  2:06 pm      •     
Winter Warming Shelters donation advisory
Joint Office of Homeless Services
Published: 19 February 2018

The Joint Office of Homeless Services has reviewed the National Weather Service forecast for Monday, Feb. 19, and will work with shelter providers to open warming centers overnight for the second day in a row. Snow remains on the ground, and extremely cold temperatures are once again predicted for downtown, east Portland and east Multnomah County.

Severe weather centers do not require identification or any other documentation. No one seeking shelter during severe weather will be turned away.

Transition Projects will open severe weather shelters tonight at  Bud Clark Commons (655 NW Hoyt, in Portland), Imago Dei (1302 SE Ankeny, in Portland) and Sunrise Center (18901 E Burnside, in Gresham). Shelters at Bud Clark Commons and Imago Dei will be open to adults, couples, and pets from 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, to 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20. Sunrise Center will be open to adults, couples, and pets from 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, to 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20. 211info (link is external) will coordinate transport for anyone who needs shelter but does not have a way to get there.

The three sites served more than 200 people on Sunday, Feb. 18, the first time shelters had been opened because of weather since Dec. 26, 2017. Medical volunteers also reported to Imago Dei, Bud Clark Commons and Sunrise Center. Dozens more people found shelter at community-led sites.

Portland Homeless Families Solutions has space available for families, by reservation, at their winter shelter site at Congregation Beth Israel. Contact 211 for an intake. Families with children should contact 211 directly to access and arrange transport as needed to severe weather shelter. 

Additional sites may open as conditions change. Several community-led warming sites also are expected to open. Anyone in need, or who knows someone in need, should check ongoing communications about available shelter by visiting 211info.org (link is external) and signing up for alerts.

Please donate winter gear

Providers are also continuing their call for donated winter gear. After a stretch of milder weather this winter, many neighbors sleeping without shelter may not have all the gear they’ll need during a cold spell to stay warm.

Please visit 211info.org/donations to see a specific list of winter gear and where it can be dropped off. Providers also have an online shopping list to make donating more convenient. Items ordered online can be delivered directly to JOIN, 1435 NE 81st Ave., Suite 100, Portland, OR, 97213

The following items are needed:

  • Thick socks
  • Waterproof/resistant gloves or mittens (preferably dark colors/black)
  • Waterproof/resistant winter coats (men’s and women’s sizes
  • Sleeping bags and warm blankets
  • Waterproof/resistant hats (preferably dark colors/black)
  • Knit hats (preferably dark colors/black)
  • Tarps (preferably brown, dark colors)
  • Hand warmers
  • Rain ponchos

We appreciate everyone's willingness to help, however they can. But please keep in mind: Some items, like home-cooked food, present health challenges around illnesses, allergies and germs -- even from the most well-meaning donors -- and can’t be accepted. In addition, volunteers and others working at shelter sites won’t have the capacity to track, clean and return food containers, flatware and other items left at shelter sites.

The Joint Office of Homeless Services will continue to monitor weather conditions and open emergency warming centers as needed. Officials have worked with providers already this winter, before severe weather, to open hundreds of seasonal beds in Multnomah County that will be open nightly all winter long. Those beds are in addition to nearly 1,400 beds open year-round.

How to help neighbors in distress

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.

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

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