PORTLAND -- Sub-freezing temperatures this week prompted the opening of an emergency warming shelter in Portland.
The Red Cross set up the shelter at the Imago Dei Church in Southeast Portland. It can accommodate 150 people and will also accept pets.
"The east wind will increase Thursday afternoon and temperatures will stay in the mid-40s," said KGW Meteorologist Nick Allard. "Look for more of the same over the next few days with temperatures in the 20s for most places overnight."
Wednesday night, 72 people slept at the Imago Dei Church and organizers expect to see more than a hundred people on Thursday night as temperatures continue to drop.
“It's a very low barrier shelter. It doesn't matter your gender, if you want to sleep next to your partner, we just want you to get out of the cold and be safe,” said Red Cross spokesperson Julie Miller.
Emergency shelters are put into place by the city when permanent homeless shelters run out of room.
Michelle Morrison stayed at the shelter Wednesday night. “It was warm, very friendly, everybody was very nice. Very warm,” said Morrison. “It had a clean bathroom. It was very nice. You could have chicken broth, coffee, cocoa or just hot water.”
If the Red Cross shelter hits capacity, the city will set up another emergency shelter to ensure that no one is turned away.
Imago Dei Church is located at Southeast 13th and Ankeny. It will open Thursday night at 9 p.m. and close Friday at 7 a.m. It will be moved to St. Francis Church in Southeast Portland on Friday night.