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Severe Weather Warming Centers Open

Community Urged To Look Out For Those Most Vulnerable

Contacts: Multnomah County Communications Coordinator: Jessica Morkert-Shibley, (971) 563-3735

With forecast overnight wind chills in the low single digits several nights this coming week, City and County leaders are encouraging homeless people to seek shelter and are asking for the community's help watching out for those who are most vulnerable to severe cold.

The forecast calls for temperatures below 30 degrees starting Sunday, Jan. 1. At these low temperatures there is increased risk of exposure-related injuries for unsheltered homeless people who do not have sufficient gear, such as coats, hats, gloves, footwear, tarps, sleeping bags, and blankets.

Warming centers are open in Portland and Gresham. Call 2-1-1 at any hour of the day for the latest information about open shelters. Calls are answered in over 150 languages. You can also visit 211's website at www.211info.org for updated information and sign up for emails or texts about updated warming center locations.

Warming Shelters: Severe weather night and day warming centers are open in Gresham and Portland starting Sunday night. Anyone seeking shelter should call 211info by dialing 211, toll free, from any phone. 211 will help identify the closest available shelter and transportation options. Severe weather warming centers will accommodate individuals and couples, pets and belongings, and do not require identification or any other documentation. Families with children seeking shelter should also call 211 and will directed to shelter that can accommodate children.

Persons in Need of Assistance: If you see someone outside, unsheltered, whose life appears to be in danger or is in an apparent medical crisis, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, if you see someone about whom you are concerned, such as not being dressed for the weather conditions, call police non-emergency (503) 823-3333 and request a welfare check for that person. To assist someone in locating shelter and transportation to shelter, please call 2-1-1.

Donations Needed: Homeless service organizations are in need of cold weather gear - including sleeping bags, tarps, tents, blankets, hats, coats, gloves, and socks - that they can provide to people during this period of severe weather. Agencies welcome all donations, but are particularly in need of items in good condition made from warmer and more durable materials designed for outdoor use. For information about what and where to donate, please contact 211info by dialing 211 during regular business hours or by visiting their website, 211info.org.

Public Buildings: People seeking to get warm, especially during daytime hours, are encouraged to utilize public buildings that are open to the public, including, for example, libraries and community centers, which will be open regular hours starting Monday. Information about locations and hours of operation for these and other public buildings is available on Multnomah County’s public library website and Multnomah County website.

For additional information on cold weather safety and resources available, including heating assistance contact: Jessica Morkert-Shibley (971) 563-3735

 

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