With overnight wind chills in the low single digits in Multnomah County this week, City and County leaders are encouraging homeless people to seek shelter and asking for the community's help in donating cold weather gear and watching out for those most vulnerable to severe cold.
Temperatures below 30 degrees are forecast to continue through Thursday. 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.
Warming centers are open in Portland and Gresham with capacity during day and night. Call 211 in Multnomah County at any hour for the latest information about open shelters. 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.
Donations Needed: 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. For information about what and where to donate, please contact 211info by dialing 211 or by visiting their website, 211info.org.
Warming Shelters: Severe weather night and day warming centers are open in Gresham and Portland during the cold spell. 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. Severe weather centers will accommodate individuals and couples, pets and belongings, and do not require identification or any other documentation. Families with children seeking shelter should also 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 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.