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Capacity is increased as hundreds of thousands of people in the region are without power.

COURTESY PHOTO: JOHS - Staff prepare to welcome people at the Metro Garage shelter.Emergency severe weather and warming shelters will continue operating because of the ongoing winter storm.

The city of Portland/Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services and Multnomah County Emergency Management also announced that more daytime walk-in capacity would be added on Saturday, Feb. 13.

In addition, outreach workers will also continue to distribute cold-weather gear and share word about shelters with people surviving outside. First responders, including Portland Fire & Rescue and the Portland Police Bureau, have also been assisting in transporting people to shelter.

Around 60 people came in from the cold on Thursday evening, Feb. 12, rising to 150 by Friday, according to Joint Office spokesman Denis Theriault.

"Because of COVID funding, there's a lot more gear — tents, sleeping bags, blankets, etc. — out proactively ahead of this event," he said in a message to the Tribune. "Outreach teams offering shelter options are still hearing from people who say they're willing to hunker down in their established campsites."

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - A homeless person makes their way along SW Broadway on Friday, Feb. 12 in downtown Portland. Theriault said the Fire Bureau had been "essential" in assisting with transporting the houseless to the warming shelters. Plans to expand daytime access and add space at the Metro Garage are in place.

People who need shelter should call 2-1-1 or go to 211info at all hours during severe weather for the latest information about what's available and to obtain rides as needed. To ensure 211 can focus its capacity on people experiencing homelessness who need transportation and information, please do not call 211 with requests for transportation that are not connected to helping someone reach shelter.

Nearly 330 shelter beds and spaces are now available. The location of the severe weather and warming shelters are as follows:

• Oregon Convention Center, 965 N.E. First Ave., open all day and overnight on Saturday, Feb. 13. (Continued daytime access will be reassessed and announced Sunday, Feb. 14, based on capacity).

• Metro Garage, 578 N.E. Irving St., open 24 hours.

• Arbor Lodge Severe Weather Shelter, 1952 N. Lombard St., open all day and overnight Saturday, Feb. 13. (Continued daytime access will be reassessed and announced Sunday, Feb. 14, based on capacity).

• Sunrise Center in east County, 18901 E Burnside St., open 24 hours.

People in need of shelter in east county can also come to Sunrise Center to receive MAX tickets, pending availability of TriMet service, for a free trip to the Oregon Convention Center or Metro Garage shelters. Both shelters are on the same line as Sunrise Center. Cab rides will also be available.

Severe weather shelters and warming sites, just like year-round and seasonal shelters funded by the Joint Office, will be fully compliant with COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including requirements for physical distancing and face coverings.

Reporter Zane Sparling contributed to this story.


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