Shelters continue to provide housing, resources to Eagle Creek Fire evacuees

September 11, 2017

One week after the Eagle Creek Fire drove hundreds of people from their homes in east Multnomah County and Hood River County, more than 170 of those displaced remain in shelters in Oregon and Washington, Red Cross spokeswoman Monique Dugaw said Monday morning.

A shelter at Mt. Hood Community College housed 24 people overnight Sunday, while 146 people slept at a shelter at the Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson, Wash.

Red Cross Cascades Region is managing both shelters. The nonprofit is working in partnership with Multnomah County at the Mt. Hood shelter. 

Several Multnomah County offices are providing aid to fire evacuees.

The shelters will continue to provide food, shelter for pets and other assistance as long as an evacuation order barring people from returning home is in place, Dugaw said, though the Mt. Hood shelter will move to a different location on Tuesday.

“There is certainly a significant need for shelter assistance,” she said. “And our work here in the Gorge is not done. We will continue to assist as many people as possible for as long as is needed.” 

As long as the Mt. Hood shelter is open, the Multnomah County Department of County Human Services, Health Department and Animal Services will coordinate with the Red Cross to provide a variety of assistance, including mental health support and information about food and energy assistance. 

“If you’re worried about your food stamps or if you’re worried about your Medicaid or your health benefits, we have staff here at the shelters who will work with you to make sure that you do not have a gap in your services and you do not have a gap in your benefits,” Peggy Brey, interim director of the Department of County Human Services, said at a community meeting Sunday night. 

“Please talk to us,” Brey said. “You are absolutely not alone in any of this.” 

For more information about social service resources, contact 211info by calling 2-1-1 or visiting 211info.org.

A community meeting is planned for 6 p.m. today, Monday, Sept. 11, at McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheatre, 2126 SW Halsey St., in Troutdale to share information about services available to people affected by the Eagle Creek Fire. Attendees will be able to collect information about services, sign up to receive benefits and register to receive an alert when evacuation orders are lifted. 

Shelters are located at:

  • Skamania County Fairgrounds, Hedgewald Center, 710 SW Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson, WA 
  • Mt. Hood Community College, Yoshida Events Center 3691 NE 17th Drive, Gresham, OR (will close Tuesday, Sept. 12)
  • Harvest Christian Church, 624 SW Halsey, Troutdale OR (will open Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 1:30 p.m.)

To donate to the Red Cross’ relief effort, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or visit redcross.org. To make a financial donation specifically to "Oregon Wildfires,” call 503-528-5634. 

Mental health support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the numbers listed below:

  • Multnomah County Mental Health Call Center, 503-988-4888
    • Free 24/7 mental health helpline staffed by mental health professionals. Services include crisis counseling, behavioral health information and referral to providers. Multilingual and multicultural support is available.
  • Hood River County Crisis Line, 541-386-2620
    • Free 24/7 mental health crisis line for Hood River County residents. It is staffed with mental health professionals who will address any and all mental health crisis situations.
  • Urgent Walk-In Clinic, 4212 SE Division Street, Portland, OR
    • Free face-to-face support from mental health experts. Open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. It serves all Multnomah County residents regardless of insurance, income or age.
  • Line for Life Helpline, 800-273-8255
    • Regional 25/7 mental health helpline that anyone can access for free. Lines for Life also specializes in services for teens and military veterans.