Four people have died in cold since New Year's Day in Portland

City, community leaders address homelessness during winter

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A man found dead at the bottom of a Southwest Portland hillside on Tuesday morning died of hypothermia, police said.

The man was the fourth known person to die of hypothermia in Portland since New Year's Day. He was 29 years old.

The man's name was not immediately released. Detectives believe he was living in the woods below Southwest Barbur Boulevard.

Crews found the man's body in the 4900 block of Barbur just after 8 a.m Tuesday.

On Jan. 7, 52-year-old Karen Batts was found dead of hypothermia in a downtown parking garage. Records show she was evicted from a low-income senior housing facility in October. 

On Jan. 2, a 51-year-old homeless man died of hypothermia in East Portland. He was found lying on a pillow with a blanket over his body in front of a businesses on East Burnside Street. 

A 68-year-old homeless man died at a Portland bus stop on New Year's Day.

"Behind every number is a person. Everything we do to try and help might save someone's life," said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, during a press conference Tuesday evening. 

Related: Freezing temperatures claim life of Portland homeless man

Portland police say they will continue to look for vulnerable people with more snow and freezing temperatures in the weather forecast.

Resources to help people stay warm

Warming centers are open in Portland and Gresham with capacity during day and night. Call 211 in Multnomah County at any hour for the latest information about open shelters. Calls are answered in over 150 languages. You can also visit 211's website for updated information and sign up for emails or texts about updated warming center locations. Severe weather 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 be directed to a shelter that can accommodate children.

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. Library hours are listed on Multnomah County Library's website. City community center information is listed here.

During extreme cold weather 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. For information about what and where to donate, please contact 211 info by dialing 211 or by visiting their website.

For additional information on the dangers of cold including: hypothermia, carbon monoxide hazards and important information on the use of alternative sources of heat, click here.


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