Multnomah County to open new cooling center at Kellogg Middle School, outreach teams assist vulnerable neighbors 

August 12, 2021

Multnomah County to open new cooling center at Kellogg Middle School, outreach teams assist vulnerable neighbors 

Sign up for a volunteer shift, review the list of cool spaces, and bookmark Help for when it’s Hot

Multnomah County and the City of Portland announced a new 24-hour Cooling Center will open Thursday at Kellogg Middle School, expanding the list of cooling options as excessive heat continues throughout the region. The center opens at 6 p.m. today and will stay open until Sunday, Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. 
Photo of pet and its owner at the Arbor Lodge Cooling Center.
 
An excessive heat warning remains in effect through Saturday evening, with temperatures expected to peak in the 100 to 105 degree-range today and Friday with little overnight cooling. Some near-surface smoke may also cause hazy skies and briefly affect air quality in Multnomah County.

Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines says heat risk will peak in the next couple days as people begin to feel the physical stress of high heat. She encourages everyone to have a plan to stay cool and help others to do the same.

“Hot days and nights are deadly,” Dr. Jennifer Vines said. “It’s critical to have access to a cool space, whether that is at home or at a cooling center. Everyone should check on their vulnerable neighbors. And anyone who needs a ride to a cooling center can call 211, and should remember to bring their mask.” 

Multnomah County and the City of Portland opened cooling centers at noon Wednesday for people who need a break from the heat. All are welcome to visit a location to cool down for a few hours or a few days. The following locations are listed:

Check Help for When it’s Hot for the latest on cooling centers and other places to get relief.

There are multiple opportunities to help at cooling centers and misting stations today, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug 15. People are encouraged to sign up for morning and afternoon shifts via SignUpGenius. Anyone interested in a volunteer shift should visit the County’s Volunteer Opportunities webpage.

Coordinated outreach effort underway

Multnomah County, City of Portland, and their partners have continued enhanced outreach with older adults, families with infants and children, people with chronic medical conditions, outdoor workers and those that are socially isolated.

Wellness checks are currently underway to ensure our community’s most vulnerable residents are staying safe and cool. Outreach workers have begun phone calls and in-person visits with people living outside and residents at senior living facilities and affordable housing sites. Highlights include:

  • Department of County Human Services distributing up to 2,000 misting bottles and hot weather information to affordable housing providers and phone outreach to senior living residents

  • Multnomah County Library staff contacting all homebound patrons in the Lents neighborhood and surrounding community

  • Portland Bureau of Emergency Management taking wellness checks and visiting low income and senior multi-unit housing residents

  • Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) distributing more than 50 life jackets to residents along local riverbanks

  • MCSO Homeless Outreach and Programs Engagement (HOPE) Team providing water and cooling center information to 40 homeless residents

  • Portland Parks & Recreation Park Rangers distributing water and cooling center information to park visitors 

  • Portland Fire & Rescue and Joint Office of Homeless Services delivering water and ice along the Springwater Trail

Teams distribute water, hot weather essentials 

At least 35 outreach teams were busy delivering water, towels, masks, and other essential supplies to unsheltered community members yesterday. In total, the Joint Office of Homeless Services and its partners have so far distributed:

  • 21,624 individual bottles of water 

  • 798 gallon jugs of water

  • 340 misting bottles 

  • 340 refillable drinking bottles 

  • 1,776 cooling towels 

  • 3,950 electrolyte packets. 

  • 3,200 KN95 masks

The Joint Office of Homeless Services’ downtown outreach supply center at 501 S.W. Washington St. remains open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day through Saturday, Aug. 14, for pickups of water and cooling supplies to distribute. Community members are encouraged to help support that work as they’re able.

People interested in picking up water and cooling supplies will need to make an appointment first, but appointments to pick up those supplies are open for anyone interested in helping.

Anyone interested in picking up supplies to distribute or dropping off supplies can contact Carol Bethard or Richard Gilliam at the Joint Office to make appointment by emailing johssupplies@multco.us.

Those who would like to help support their unsheltered neighbors, but who might not be able to be out in the heat distributing supplies, can help instead by dropping off donations of 16.9-ounce bottles of water at the Joint Office supply center.

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