For information on severe weather shelters, check

Support people living outside

If someone outside is unsheltered and whose life appears to be in danger, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, if you see someone about whom you are concerned during cold weather, such as not being dressed for the weather conditions, call Multnomah County’s non-emergency response line at 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check. 

To help someone locate shelter and transportation to shelter, please call 2-1-1.

People seeking to get warm on winter days when severe weather shelters are not open are welcome in government 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 of Portland community center information is listed here.

Severe Weather Planning

County staff monitor weather conditions and other factors, including severe temperature fluctuations, emergency department visits for hypothermia, and wind chill. City of Portland and Multnomah County officials meet to discuss those weather conditions — consulting with Emergency Management, Health Department, County Human Services and Joint Office experts — and then jointly decide on shelter plans as needed.

Severe weather shelters open as needed when any of the following thresholds are met for any one of the conditions below that are forecasted to persist for four (4) hours or more between the hours of 8:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.

  • Forecasted temperature of 25° F (-4° C) or below.
  • Forecasted snow accumulation of 1.0 inch or more.
  • Forecasted temperature at or below 32° F (0° C) with driving rain of 1.0 inch or more overnight.

Cold Weather Alerts

Even when severe weather thresholds aren't met — but when overnight temperatures are forecast at 32 degrees or below, for roughly four hours or longer — the Joint Office will issue a "cold weather alert."

No severe weather beds will open during a cold weather alert. But providers will conduct additional and focused outreach to find vulnerable people, and they will have the ability to quickly obtain and distribute cold weather gear. Providers will step up coordination around information on resources and system shelter capacity. Overflow shelter capacity will be made available to outreach workers, who can refer people in need.