Four severe weather warming centers to re-open as rapidly changing forecast calls for overnight lows in the low 20s

December 31, 2021

Four severe weather warming centers, including the Oregon Convention Center, East Portland Community Center, Mt. Scott Community Center and Reynolds High School, will open at 7 p.m.

Severe weather shelters will reopen tonight, Friday, Dec. 31, with overnight low temperatures forecast to fall into the low 20s.  

Four severe weather warming centers, including the Oregon Convention Center, East Portland Community Center, Mt. Scott Community Center and Reynolds High School, will open at 7 p.m. 

People seeking shelter can dial 2-1-1 for the latest information on shelter locations and if they need transportation to a shelter. TriMet will offer fare-free transportation for people who need to get to a warming shelter. 

For updates and future severe weather shelter hours and locations, please continue to check multco.us/cold or call 2-1-1. 

Volunteers who are signed up for shifts over the weekend are asked to be prepared to work those shifts, and will receive confirmation communications from the County as soon as possible. 

Anyone interested in volunteering during this incident or future severe weather incidents can sign up as a shelter volunteer by visiting the County’s Winter Donations and Volunteers page. Community members can also donate cold-weather gear to local nonprofits through 211info.org/donations.

“As the forecast rapidly changes, we’re prepared to scale shelter operations,” said Chris Voss, Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management director. 

“Volunteers and staff for those shelters are essential to operations as we face prolonged stretches of potential inclement weather. We recognize that things are moving quickly and we’re so grateful to staff and community members who have been flexible as we move through this dynamic event.”

Seven severe weather centers opened over the past week, beginning on Christmas Day. The Joint Office of Homeless Services, together with Multnomah County and the City of Portland, continues to monitor conditions and prepare as thresholds for severe weather shelters are met.  

Outreach teams — including those from Transition Projects, JOIN, Janus Youth, Cascadia Behavioral Health and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office HOPE team —have been making contact with vulnerable populations, providing resources, and sharing information about severe weather and year-round shelters. 

Many of those teams were also on site at warming centers on Thursday, providing life-saving gear such as tents, sleeping bags, and warm clothing to anyone who needs it. Since Dec. 20, through the Joint Office supply center over 1,880 sleeping bags, 4,820 blankets, 4,690 gloves and 4,600 hats, among other cold-weather gear were distributed. 

If someone outside is unsheltered and whose life appears to be in danger, call 9-1-1. 

If you see someone about whom you are concerned during cold weather, such as when someone isn’t dressed for the weather, call the non-emergency response line at 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check.