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In less than 24 hours, a Portland nonprofit raised nearly $70 worth of industrial respirator masks to dozens of houseless Portlanders who are especially vulnerable to the smoke-filled air that's lingered in Portland for the past week.

Right 2 Survive, a Portland houseless advocacy group, raised the funds through their Facebook page and website to purchase n95 respirator masks used in construction sites and hospitals. R2S board member Mary Ann Warner said that on Wednesday, she and her partner stopped by to houseless resting areas along the Springwater Corridor Trail, distributing masks to anyone in need.

Warner described the discomfort she and her partner experienced after only an hour along the trail: She felt pain in her lungs, and he felt pain in his chest.

“We got a lot of complaints about the air and chest pain,” Warner said, “especially from senior citizens, who are especially vulnerable.”

Senior citizens, children and people with compromised immune systems especially need to keep indoors and away from the unhealthy levels of pollutants in the air, which are not dissipating as quickly as originally forecast. While the city of Portland opens emergency shelters in the event of extreme heat or cold, as it did earlier in the summer and last year during haze from Canadian wildfires, it doesn't appear like the city is opening any specific extra shelters for people wanting to escape the smoke.

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R2S isn’t the only group working on behalf of houseless Portlanders. Last week, the houseless-focused independent newspaper Street Roots put out a call on Twitter for respirator masks and resources. “We know this is going to be an ongoing issue,” Warner said.

In addition to accepting donations online, Right 2 Survive also takes donations at their organizational meetings. Tonight’s meeting, from 5 – 7 pm, has moved to Sisters of the Road. For more information, visit https://www.right2survive.org/ or https://sistersoftheroad.org.