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Alexandra Arciszewski / EyeEm

Local meteorologists are expecting significant snowfall, freezing rain, and frigid temperatures in the Metro area through Saturday—a situation that's particularly dangerous for Portland's houseless residents, or those who just need to stay warm.

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Starting today the City of Portland/Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services and Multnomah County Emergency Management are opening emergency warming shelters that will remain open through the weekend. Those seeking more information on shelter sites, or needing emergency transportation, should call 2-1-1 or go to 211info.org.

While COVID-19 concerns have closed many shelters that were in use last year, there are three major sites that are being provided by the city and county with a total of almost 300 beds, which will also distribute survival kits—including tents, sleeping bags, warm clothes, etc—for those in need. From Multnomah County's site:

• Oregon Convention Center, 965 N.E. 1st Ave, open 8 p.m. today, Feb. 11, to 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12. (NOTE: Free rapid COVID testing is available for those seeking a bed at this site.)

• Metro Garage, 578 N.E. Irving St, open 12 p.m. today, Feb. 11, and then open 24 hours.

• Arbor Lodge Severe Weather Shelter, 1952 N. Lombard St, open 8 p.m. today, Feb. 11, through 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12.

Two non-shelter warming sites—for those who don't plan on sleeping, but want to get warm— will also be open and distributing survival kits as well. (Free MAX or cab rides are available for those lacking transportation to the sites.)

• Metro Garage (same site as above shelter), opening at noon, today, Feb. 11.

• Sunrise Center in east County, 18901 E Burnside St, open from 6 p.m. today, Feb. 11, to 6 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12.

HOW YOU CAN HELP


To furnish the required number of emergency survival kits, the city and county need your help. Especially important donations include waterproof hats, gloves, blankets, tarps, sleeping bags, and coats—get more info on other items and drop-off points here.

Other houseless service providers need your help as well. Donate anything from JOIN's online shopping list, and drop it off at their offices at 1435 NE 81st. There's also Transition Projects at 665 NW Hoyt, who also have a shopping list. Here are just a few things they need on a regular basis in the winter:

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• Thick socks
• Waterproof/resistant gloves or mittens (preferably dark colors/black)
• Waterproof/resistant winter coats (men’s and women’s sizes)
• Sleeping bags and warm blankets
• Waterproof/resistant hats (preferably dark colors/black)
• Knit hats (preferably dark colors/black)
• Tarps (preferably brown, dark colors)
• Hand warmers
• Rain ponchos

Transition Projects is also currently training volunteers, 18 and older, to work on-site at warming centers. Find out more at their site, and sign up for volunteer training here.

For the latest information, or if you need help to stay warm, call 2-1-1 or go to their website.