Winter donations and shelter volunteers

Train as a severe weather shelter volunteer: Transition Projects is providing special training sessions for adults 18 and older interested in volunteering at severe weather warming centers. Transition Projects opens and operates the first line of Severe Weather Shelter services (SWS) in Multnomah County, opening spaces at night and offering expanded day services during these events. When severe weather occurs, we need you ready to help vulnerable people get inside and have a safe place to sleep. You may be asked to work alongside Transition Projects staff or alongside staff and volunteers at other shelters that open as need grows over the course of a long severe weather event.

What you need to know: Shelter volunteer shifts are about as hands-on as this work gets. You should be comfortable working together with people experiencing homelessness, and you should plan to be on your feet and doing active work during these shifts. These shifts take place on the coldest nights of the year, so having reliable transportation in inclement weather is important.

How to sign up: Sign up online to attend a mandatory training. Please note that you do not have to have attended a Transition Projects volunteer orientation to sign up for this training. Trainings provide an overview of what severe weather shelters are and why we do them; a brief run-through on what to expect, roles, and policies; and some basic de-escalation skills. 

Donate life-saving gear this winter: Outreach providers need winter gear they can pass out now, so folks outside are ready for the cold, and to have in reserve during an emergency. Having the right gear staged in the right places before a crisis will help providers better focus on direct services and life-saving efforts in the moment. Commonly needed items include thick socks, waterproof/resistant gloves, waterproof/resistant coats in all sizes, waterproof/resistant hats, hand warmers, ponchos, tarps, sleeping bags and blankets. Dark and/or neutral colors, for all items, are generally also preferred.

Click on to learn more about how and where to donate to specific organizations.