Nonprofit opens hundreds of beds for homeless during cold stretch

Homeless shelters opening due to cold weather

PORTLAND, Ore. – An Arctic cold front will bring frigid conditions to Portland with subfreezing temperatures beginning Sunday.

Conditions like these can be particularly brutal, especially for the homeless.

The day shelter at Transition Projects is going to be one of two emergency, around the clock shelters opening up as the new snow hits. In total, the agency is going to be providing 200-250 extra beds.

Tiffany Quiroga has experienced what it’s like to be on the street when a cold front hits Portland.

“They’re very cold, very icy,” she said.

With her dog by her side, Quiorga is bracing for Saturday night, which is expected to the beginning of another bitter stretch. It’s the same story for, officials estimate, well over 1,000 other sleeping outside, across the city.

“It’s really depressing having to be out here in this weather,” Quiroga said.

Which is why staff at Transition Projects, and other Portland nonprofits, are working through the holiday weekend.

"We need to get everybody inside,” said Stacy Borke, housing director for Transition Projects.

The organization’s two emergency shelters open at 4 a.m. Sunday. One will be at their day shelter at Northwest 6th Avenue and Broadway Street. Another will open at the Imago Dei Community in Southeast Portland. They’ll welcome men, women, couples and pets, all day, all week.

Staff say when it gets this cold, even those who have spent years sleeping outside or in camps give in and seek shelter inside.

“They are often forced to make a choice and it does become a life-saving situation.

Staff at Transition Projects say volunteers will also be walking the streets and going into camps to check on people living outside.

So if you or anyone you know is in need of emergency shelter, staff ask that you dial 211. Operators are keeping track of where all of these emergency shelters are.


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