PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s getting colder outside, and that means Portland area winter shelters are gearing up to open.
Multnomah County officials have issued updated plans for the fast-approaching, winter-like weather. The winter shelter at the county’s Walnut Park Building in Northeast Portland was set to open Monday afternoon for the first time.
County officials said this year's plans will be focused on a specific commitment: "No one who needs a warm, dry and safe place during severe weather will ever be turned away.”
Providers are set to open more than 250 seasonal shelter beds for severe weather. That’s in addition to the more than 1,300 year-round beds that are already available.
This year, there will also be more focus on reaching out to homeless families and individuals before severe weather shelter beds are all taken up. When the forecast calls for temperatures that will reach 32 degrees, providers plan to step up outreach efforts, and will also have the ability to buy and give out winter gear.
Anyone can call 211 at any time of the day to help connect people with empty shelter beds.
People in Multnomah County who want to help those in need can get visit 211info.org/donations. the site has information on training sessions for shelter volunteers, as well as directions on how to donate winter clothing.
Available seasonal shelter beds during severe weather:
- The county’s Walnut Park building at 5329 NE MLK – 80 beds for men, women and couples. Transition Projects is operating the shelter.
- Do Good Multnomah operates a shelter for veterans at 5830 NE Alameda Street in Portland’s Rose City Park neighborhood. The shelter is adding 40 seasonal beds to its 40-bed shelter for veterans. Of those beds, 30 will be set aside for non-veterans.
- Portsmouth Union Church at 4775 N. Lombard in Portland is hosting a 50-bed shelter for the winter.
Next month, 75 additional winter shelter beds for families are expected to open up.