Emergency warming shelters will not reopen Monday, despite freezing overnight temperatures. According to Multnomah County officials, the wind chill has decreased and temperatures have risen enough that severe weather shelters are no longer necessary. Nearly 350 people stayed at emergency shelters Sunday night.
While the severity of Portland's winter weather has lessened, it is still bitterly cold—temperatures are expected to drop to the mid-20s early Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. According to guidelines determined by Multnomah County and the city of Portland, temperatures must be below 25 degrees for more than four hours overnight or 32 degrees with more than one inch of rain in order for severe weather shelters to be opened.
The Joint Office of Homeless Services, run by both the county and the city, will continue to conduct outreach to unsheltered residents, distributing socks, blankets, hats, sleeping bags, and other cold weather gear. The outreach team will also offer rides to homeless residents who are interested in going to one of the region's limited number of year-round shelter beds.
Update January 29, 11:24 am:
Five warming shelters will open in the Portland area Sunday night, expanding capacity to 400 beds amid life-threatening winter weather. More than 220 people sought shelter Saturday night, about 90 percent capacity of the county- and city-run emergency shelters.
The five shelters will open at 8 pm January 29 and close at 8 am January 30. The shelters may reopen nightly as long as below-freezing conditions persist. The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 37 degrees and overnight low of 24 degrees Sunday, with the possible return of below-freezing temperatures Monday night. While severe weather shelters are not open during the day time, anyone seeking refuge indoors can go to a Multnomah County library.
No one will be turned away from severe weather shelters, even if capacity is reached. Anyone seeking a ride to a shelter can call 2-1-1 for assistance.
Five shelters opening Sunday at 8 pm:
- Arbor Lodge, 7440 N. Denver Ave. (corner of N. Lombard and N. Denver.)
- Charles Jordan Community Center, 9009 N. Foss Ave.
- Salvation Army Moore Street Gymnasium, 5325 N. Williams Ave.
- The Portland Building, 1120 S.W. 5th Ave.
- East Portland Community Center, 740 S.E. 106th Ave.
Original story January 28, 11:29 am:
Four warming shelters in the Portland area will open 8 pm Saturday as overnight temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-20s. The shelters, coordinated by Multnomah County and city leaders, can host about 237 people.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a low of 27 degrees Saturday night, but, combined with rain and wind, it will likely feel colder. Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson declared a state of emergency starting at 6 pm Saturday, citing the life-threatening danger the weather poses to unhoused people in the county.
"We're taking this severe cold snap seriously," Vega Pederson said in a press release Saturday. "Please seek shelter, check on your neighbors, share information and volunteer at one of our shelters if you can."
Anyone traveling to or from a warm location can ride TriMet regardless of their ability to pay fare. Residents can also call 2-1-1, the county helpline, to coordinate a ride to a shelter.
All four shelters are expected to close at 8 am Sunday as temperatures rise above freezing, but will reopen nightly as long as severe weather conditions persist.
Shelter locations opening at 8 pm January 28:
- Arbor Lodge, 1952 N. Lombard St., Portland
- The Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave., Portland
- Salvation Army Moore Street Gymnasium, 5325 N. Williams Ave., Portland
- Multnomah County East Building, 600 NE 8th St., Gresham
This post has been updated to clarify the shelter capacity and thresholds to open shelters.