Cooling shelters to remain open through Saturday morning, July 30; public urged to take care of self and others, seek air conditioned spaces

July 28, 2022

Charles Jordan Community Center: 9009 N. Foss Ave., Portland

As the Portland metro region pushes through a prolonged heatwave with the potential for temperatures to reach 100 degrees through Saturday, Multnomah County, the City of Portland and community partners will operate overnight cooling shelters and a daytime cooling center at least through Saturday morning, July 30.

About 170 people stayed at cooling shelters overnight Wednesday, at roughly 60% capacity for all four overnight shelters in Multnomah County.

The City of Portland and Multnomah County are continuing to monitor weather forecasts, with a plan to keep cooling services available as long as forecasts indicate they are necessary

Health officials continue to urge the public to take this heatwave seriously. Multiple days of high temperatures with little overnight cooling have a cumulative negative impact on the body, increasing the risk of heat illness as high temperatures continue. 

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Program reported July 27 it is investigating one suspected hyperthermia death. Investigators say confirmation of the cause of death will not be complete for several weeks to months. The person died July 25, 2022, in Portland. 

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications answered 21 heat-related calls Wednesday, with a total of 71 heat-related calls since Sunday. Emergency medical services responded to 14 heat-related calls Wednesday, and 51 since Sunday.

Emergency department visits for heat illness remain high. Hospitals treated nine people for heat illness on Wednesday, and 22 people since the heatwave began on Sunday. And the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday reported a presumptive drowning at the Sandy River.

Cooling shelters and other cooling sites remain open

If people don’t have a cool place to be at home, they should consider spending time at a cooling shelter or center. Cooling shelters and cooling centers provide food and water, and safe, air-conditioned places to rest or sleep. No one will be turned away and pets are welcome. Free transportation to a cooling shelter or center is available 24 hours a day by calling 2-1-1; TriMet is not turning away anyone riding to and from a cooling shelter who cannot pay fare. 

Cooling shelter locations

The City of Portland and Multnomah County are prepared to add or shift locations to increase capacity as needed.

Overnight cooling shelters are open at the following locations at least through Saturday morning:

Cooling center location

A daytime cooling center is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the following location:

Libraries

Many sites will be open until 8 p.m. daily. Two libraries will remain open until 9 p.m. through Saturday:

Find these and all locations and hours on the Multnomah County Library website.

Misting stations

The City of Portland will host misting stations from noon to 8 p.m. at six parks. Stop by or sign up to volunteer:

Find pools, community centers and other cool community spaces on the County’s interactive map.

Drinking water filling stations

The City of Portland is also hosting 24-hour water filling stations.

Transportation

If someone needs a free ride to somewhere cool, call 2-1-1 at any time. 

TriMet is also offering free rides to cool spaces for anyone who cannot afford to pay fare. TriMet asks riders to let their driver know they are headed to a cool place.

When riding transit during extreme heat, riders will want to plan extra time and check trimet.org/alerts before traveling, as there may be heat-related delays to service.

Outreach 

Outreach teams and mutual aid groups continue to work hard to reach people in the community.  

Organizations and programs such as Cascadia Behavioral Health’s Street Outreach Team, JOIN’s Night Outreach, Cultivate Initiatives and Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice Mental Health Mobile Unit are making contact with people in the community, providing supplies and information about cooling locations and resources. 

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office’s Homeless Outreach and Programs Engagement (HOPE) team is also frequently checking on people experiencing homelessness to ensure they have water, access to shade, sunscreen, information about cooling centers and heat relief locations. Team members are also trained to recognize the signs of heat exposure or stroke. 

Since July 19, 2022, outreach teams, mutual aid groups and volunteers have distributed 88,000 bottles of water, more than 11,000 electrolyte packets and more than 5,000 cooling towels, among other supplies, that they picked up from the Joint Office of Homeless Services’ downtown Portland supply center.

Appointments to pick up supplies are available Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, for groups who are doing outreach to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Email JOHSSupplies@multco.us to contact the Joint Office about available pick-up appointments.

Take care of yourself and others 

As the heatwave stretches on, officials urge friends and family to check in frequently on people who are older, live alone or don't have air conditioning. If you see someone about whom you are concerned, call the non-emergency response line at 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check.

If you see a person outside during the heat of the day who looks disoriented or confused, don’t assume that person is intoxicated. Those are also signs of heat stroke, which can be deadly. Symptoms could include increased irritability, worry and stress, stumbling or an appearance of intoxication. 

If someone’s life appears to be in danger, call 9-1-1. 

The Multnomah County Behavioral Health Call Center is also available 24 hours a day to support anyone experiencing distress or to support those helping someone else. That includes responding to heat-related welfare checks, as well as resources and referrals for further support. Just dial 503-988-4888 (or toll-free at 800-716-9769; those who are hearing impaired can dial 7-1-1).

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