From Thursday, July 29, through Saturday, July 31, the Joint Office will reactivate the comprehensive, countywide outreach response that successfully distributed more than 66,000 bottles of water during June’s historic heat disaster. At the same time Multnomah County and other partners, including the City of Portland, will open cooling centers and additional cooling spaces during the hottest hours of the day.
Although this weekend’s heatwave isn’t forecast to be nearly as severe or long-lasting, afternoon temperatures could still reach triple-digits, posing a serious threat to community members living outside.
The Joint Office’s downtown outreach supply center at SW 5th and Washington will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day for pickups of water and cooling supplies to distribute. Community members who want to help hand out supplies can contact the Joint Office to make appointments.
On Thursday and Friday, people interested in picking up supplies to distribute can contact Carol Bethard or Richard Gilliam at the Joint Office to make appointments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-310-7210.
On Saturday, people interested in picking up supplies to distribute can contact Kanoe Egleston at the Joint Office at email@example.com or 503-758-6171.
During the last heatwave, more than 66,000 bottles of water moved from the Joint Office’s supply center to more than 60 outreach teams, community groups and mutual aid organizations, along with more than 20 individuals who also came to pick up and distribute supplies.
Those groups ranged from agencies funded by the Joint Office, including JOIN, Cascadia Behavioral Health and the Urban League of Portland, to providers such as Blanchet House and groups like Ground Score Association, Trash for Peace, Our Streets PDX, Defense Fund PDX, Hygiene 4 All, PPOP and others.
Working with those organizations, the Joint Office mapped the County into zones to ensure full coverage of the community. Outreach workers and volunteers then took those supplies to places like Delta Park, downtown Portland, Sellwood-Moreland and Gresham, and all points between and some beyond.
That work is part of the Joint Office’s ongoing mission to provide street outreach supplies — and support outreach providers and community groups across the county — all year long and especially during emergencies.