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Shelters prepare to open as cold moves in
People who are homeless and looking for shelter can call 211 to find out where the nearest available shelter is. People who would like to donate cold weather gear — blankets, hats, gloves, sleeping bags — can also call 211.
Winter weather is on its way to the Portland area, leaving hundreds of Portland's homeless out in the cold. Permanent homeless shelters are bracing for additional clients, and temporary ones are being opened.
For a list of area shelters, visit multco.us/dchs-community-services/homeless-families.
Among the permanent shleters, the Portland Rescue Mission is preparing for full nights at their shelter due to the cold temperatures and rain in the forecast. They are doing what they can to ease the burden for those who already have so little.
"It's cold outside, it's only going to get colder," Portland Rescue Mission Marketing Director Mike Deckon said. "We are going to have programs going on all day today where people can get out of the rain, out of the cold, have access to hot showers and a hot cup of coffee and be surrounded by people who care about them."
The Mission is also serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and will add more sleeping mats to squeeze as many into the shelter as possible. They also have a plan to help those who are turned away.
"Every single night since July, we've been hitting capacity and that's after adding 92 additional mats to our chapel to get as many people inside as possible," Deckon said. "Once we hit capacity, we hand out blankets, we hand out coats, socks, gloves, hand warmers. Anything we can do."
A new temporary homeless shelter next to O'Bryant Square in downtown Portland recently opened, part of the city-county project called A Home for Everyone.
Developer Tom Cody offered 6 months of free space for the shelter, helping Portland and Multnomah County toward their goal of 650 new beds before the end of the year.
The spot at 333 SW Park will house 100 adults this winter.
People who are homeless and looking for shelter can call 211 to find out where the nearest available shelter is. People who would like to donate cold weather gear — blankets, hats, gloves, sleeping bags — can also call 211. Other non-profits, such as JOIN, Transition Projects, Cascadia Behavioral Health Care and Janus Youth, are also available to take donations.
"The problem is too large for any one organization to meet all the needs," Deckon said. "So we are very, very grateful every time someone gets a night of safe shelter or a hot meal."
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.