With forecast overnight wind chills in the low single digits and severe weather expected to persist through the weekend, severe weather shelters remain open and City and County leaders continue to ask for the community’s help watching out for those in need and donating sleeping bags, blankets and other durable cold weather gear to non-profit outreach providers.
Severe weather night and day warming centers are open in Gresham and Portland tonight. Anyone seeking shelter should call 211info by dialing 211, toll free, from any phone. 211 will help identify the closest available shelter and transportation options. A list of all shelters is also available here.
Severe weather warming centers will accommodate individuals and couples, pets and belongings, and do not require identification or any other documentation. 211 has information on which groups are served at specific shelters. Families with children seeking shelter should call 211 and will be directed to shelter that can accommodate children. Calls are answered in over 150 languages. You can also visit 211's website at www.211info.org for updated information and sign up for emails or texts about updated warming center locations.
No one will be turned away from shelter. If a shelter reaches capacity, other shelters and transportation will be identified to accommodate anyone in need.
The forecast calls for temperatures well below freezing. 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.
Homeless service organizations are in need of cold weather gear, especially sleeping bags, blankets, tents and tarps. Other useful items include hats, coats, gloves, and socks. Agencies welcome all donations, but are particularly in need of items in good condition made from warmer and more durable materials designed for outdoor use. For information about what and where to donate, please contact 211info by dialing 211 or by visiting their website, 211info.org.
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.
People seeking to get warm, especially during daytime hours, are encouraged to utilize public buildings that are open to the public, including, for example, libraries and community centers. Library hours are listed on Multnomah County Library’s website. City community center information is listed here.
For additional information on the dangers of cold including: hypothermia, carbon monoxide hazards and important information on the use of alternative sources of heat click here.