At least 795 people sought warmth at five severe weather shelters Thursday night, where Multnomah County, City of Portland and their service provider partners provided meals, behavioral health and medical support.
The 24/7 warming sites will remain open until Saturday morning, Dec. 24. No one will be turned away. The locations are:
- Reynolds High School, 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale, OR 97060
- Portsmouth Union: 4775 N. Lombard St., Portland, OR 97203,
- Arbor Lodge: 1952 N. Lombard St., Portland, OR 97217
- Sunrise Center: 18901 E. Burnside St., Portland, OR 97233
- Oregon Convention Center, 960 NE 1st Ave. Portland, OR 97232
For transportation, people should call 2-1-1 or ride TriMet to a warm space. TriMet will not turn away anyone traveling to or from a warm place who cannot afford to pay fare. Plan extr time and check trimet.org/alerts before traveling, as there may be weather-related delays to service.
All sites welcome pets and will be accessible to people with disabilities.
Community volunteers needed at warming shelters
Difficult travel conditions and seasonal illness has caused staffing issues at the warming shelters. County and city officials are seeking community members willing to help staff the shelters today, tonight, Friday, Dec. 23, and tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 24.
You can help save lives by volunteering your time. Training and orientation is available today. Shifts are needed at the Oregon Convention Center and Reynolds High School. We encourage all of our neighbors, and especially those with experience or background in health-related settings, including behavioral healthcare, to volunteer.
No experience? Join a short training webinar with experienced shelter workers
Trainings are at 12 p.m. Dec. 23 or 3 p.m. Dec. 23.
Google Meet joining info Video call link: https://meet.google.com/uao-kpoz-wnr
Or dial: (US) +1 769-208-6188 PIN: 217 991 957#
More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/uao-kpoz-wnr?pin=3596003454100
More guests expected to seek shelter as dangerous temperatures persist
The National Weather Service calls for temperatures to remain below freezing until late Friday night, with Gresham, Troutdale and other eastern parts of the County the last to begin warming. Temperatures will gradually improve overnight into Saturday but not before the Portland metro area will be pelted with more freezing rain Friday afternoon and strong wind gusts.
The County and City of Portland have been under a state of emergency since Dec. 21 that will remain in effect until Dec. 24.
Outreach teams, through the Joint Office of Homeless Services, have worked through the emergency distributing cold-weather survival gear and information about severe weather shelters.
More than 220 outreach workers contacted people outside since Wednesday across all 37 identified zones in the County offering information on shelters and transportation. The outreach continues today despite hazardous conditions.
Hospital capacity limited as Crisis Standards of Care still in effect
Emergency medical calls reached 360 between midnight Dec. 22 and and Dec. 23, an increase over what is typical, the Multnomah County Health Department reports. Cold-related calls were also up. A typical winter day also brings one to two calls for hypothermia. There were seven to nine emergency calls for people experiencing hypothermia day since Wednesday. The Medical Examiner has no reports of suspected hypothermia deaths.
Hospitals in the Portland metro area, including Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, OHSU Health and Providence, are operating under staffing crisis standards of care in response to the high volume of adult and pediatric patients with respiratory viruses — including COVID, influenza and RSV — in addition to the care they provide every day.
People are urged to stay safe by limiting travel, and always dressing for life-threatening weather if they go outside, as any delay in their plans could potentially be dangerous.
Hospitals also request that people with electricity-dependent medical needs make a plan now in the event of a power outage, including visiting libraries or shelters if open and try to avoid using the emergency room or calling 911 unless absolutely necessary.
Support People Living Outside
Winter weather is especially dangerous for anyone experiencing houselessness, and can also pose a greater risk for older adults and people with disabilities.
If you see someone about whom you are concerned during cold weather, such as an individual who is not dressed for the weather conditions, call the non-emergency response line at 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check.
If someone outside is unsheltered and their life appears to be in danger, call 9-1-1.
Stay Informed and Check on Neighbors
Emergency managers and the Multnomah County Health Officer are advising all community members to get ready. Check on your neighbors: Please knock on the door, make the call, let people know if you’re going to the store, and ask how you might help.
Care for When It’s Cold: Up-to-date information from Multnomah County on shelters, safety and support.
211info.org: Up-to-date info on weather conditions, available resources, where to find the nearest available shelter and transportation options. You can also find out where you can donate winter-weather items to those who need it. Sign up for Severe Winter Weather alerts via email or text by going to www.211info.org/winter-and-severe-weather-shelters/#MULTNOMAH.
National Weather Service: Check weather warnings in the Portland Metro area.
Public Alerts: Sign up to get emergency alerts about safety concerns in your area.##