For information on severe weather shelters, check multco.us/cold

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 open severe weather shelters as needed when any of the following thresholds are met:

  • Temperatures are forecast at 25 degrees or below
  • Forecasters predict an inch or more of snow  
  • Overnight temperatures drop below 32 degrees, with an inch of driving rain.
  • Other conditions occur as needed, including severe wind chills or extreme temperature fluctuations.

Seasonal Shelters

In addition to the severe-weather beds that open only when certain weather thresholds are met, the Joint Office of Homeless Services also funds additional beds open every night during the cold season. These beds are open day after day, no matter the forecast, from November/December through April. Other community partners not funded through the Joint Office also add winter shelter capacity.

Just like with year-round shelters, winter shelters are available only through reservations. Anyone interested in accessing shelter should contact 211.

Winter shelters for 2021-22 are open as of Nov. 19. That includes two shelters opened initially as seasonal spaces that have kept operating all year, the Walnut Park Shelter and the Downtown Winter Shelter. Both remained open to continue providing space throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Walnut Park Shelter, 5329 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd.; 80 beds, operated by Transition Projects 
  • Downtown Winter Shelter (former Greyhound Station), 550 N.W. 6th Ave.; 96 beds, operated by Do Good Multnomah
  • Arbor Lodge Winter Shelter, 1952 N. Lombard Ave.; 70 beds, operated by Do Good Multnomah
  • Additional winter-only beds (10) will also be available in the Joint Office's youth shelter system.

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.