PORTLAND -- City agencies and homeless outreach groups were out in the cold and snow Friday night with an urgent mission to get as many people as they could into shelters.

Shelters were at or nearing capacity, which is actually a good thing. It means firefighters and others who are roaming the streets looking for people to take inside are doing an effective job.

Crews from Portland Fire & Rescue were headed out Saturday from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. with two vans to transport endangered people to local warming shelters. On Friday, firefighters transported 53 people to safety.

The goal for the weekend is to not deny anyone a warm place to sleep. Non-profit Join has added more street teams to canvass Portland, looking for people who need supplies.

Sleeping bags are always in great demand.

On any given night, more than 1,800 people live on the streets of Portland and Multnomah County. These are people who are used to wet winters, but many of them are not equipped to handle back-to-back-to-back snow events.

If we don t get it donated, we can t buy it. We don t have a lot of money to do that. We have army surplus blankets and those are great for what they do but we can always use more. It s very cold, said Ledena Mattox with Join.

Late Friday on the Burnside Bridge there was a group of people who are friends on Facebook and heard there was a real need this weekend. They decided to use their own money to provide warm drinks and food to the homeless.

If you or anyone you know needs assistance seeking shelter from the cold just call 211.


KGW reporter Reggie Aqui contributed to this report.

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