With temperatures expected to drop in the low-20s in the Portland area, with snow and ice accumulation likely, those without a roof over their heads are most vulnerable to the elements. The Skanner News Video: Who to call to get or give help for homelessness.
Luckily, there are a number of day and overnight shelters available – but space is extremely limited. Many of the privately run shelters are already at capacity. In response, several shelters are being opened to accommodate the need. It is important to dial the helpline, 2-1-1, in order to ensure shelter availability at any given shelter.
Transitions Projects: Women's Winter Warming Center at 475 NW Glisan St. has about 40 shelter beds available (as of 12:30 p.m.) for single women and can be reserved from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are also 70 beds available for women at the YMCA building at 10th and Main in downtown Portland.
For men, the Salvation Army Harbor Light shelter is available with about 70 to 80 beds. Men start lining up at 30 SW 2nd Ave. at about 7 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m.
For men and women, the Union Gospel Mission, 3 NW Third Ave., will be converting their dining area into a shelter, with 70 to 80 spaces available. Normally, Union Gospel doesn't have a temporary shelter, but due to the weather, will be opening their doors and providing mats and blankets. The dining area will be converted into a shelter after their 7:15 p.m. meal service concludes.
For families with children under age 18, there will be a limited number of beds available at the Family Winter Warming Shelter at 12505 NE Halsey St. in Portland (on Halsey near 126th Avenue). At noon, there were 33 beds available.
In addition, the Red Cross' Severe Weather Emergency Warming Center, at the Imago Dei Church, 1302 SE Ankeny St. will have 150 beds available, with accommodation for 40 pets. It is the only shelter in Portland to accept pets.
"We enthusiastically support the expansion of this service to accommodate the entire family, including their pets." says Mike Oswald, Director at Multnomah County Animal Services. "Even in the most severe weather conditions, including Hurricane Katrina, pet owners would not abandon their pets to enter warming centers unable to accept them. By accommodating pets, we are not only saving animal lives, but human lives."
The Red Cross shelter opens its doors at 9 p.m.
For day use, the Downtown Chapel Roman Catholic Parish, 601 W. Burnside Street, provides hot beverages, some snacks and movies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For a complete listing of up-to-date availability in shelters across the county, visit this website or call 2-1-1. The 2-1-1 website and hotline is a free resource for social services in the area and they will have up-to-date information regarding available shelter beds.
In King County:
County Administrative Building (Nightly; ongoing), 500 4th Ave., Seattle. Hours of operation: 9:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.; Capacity: 50; Serves men only
Crossroads Community Center (Nov 20 – 22), 16000 NE 10th St. Bellevue; Hours of operation: 8:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m.; Capacity: 50; Serves men, women and families;
City Hall (Nov 18 – 23); Located on 4th Avenue between James and Cherry Streets in Seattle; Doors open at 9 p.m.;
Capacity: 75; Serves men, women and families;
Frye Hotel (Nov 18 – 23), located on 3rd and Yesler in Seattle; Doors open at 7 p.m.; Capacity: 25; Serves only women.
Kent Lutheran Church, 336 2nd Ave. S. in Kent; 9 P.M. – Check-in and registration, 7 A.M. – shelter closes, clients must vacate; Priority is given to homeless families with children who are living on the streets or in vehicles, but the SWS will also be available for single women and men. The SWS will be operated by Catholic Community Services staff, with volunteers from Kent Lutheran Church and the Kent community.