As smoke continues to linger in Portland, the Joint Office of Homeless Services extended the opening of additional 24-hour emergency shelter capacity for a third day on Saturday.
Similar to the additional shelters added during cold and severe weather, anyone seeking shelter or helping someone obtain shelter should call 211 first to see if there's space available and to arrange transportation. Because of high demand, there may be a wait time for callers.
Additional sheltes were first offered on Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Oregon Convention Center, as part of a Wildfire Smoke Advisory. This additional capacity for people experiencing homelessness is separate from shelter space set up for Clackamas County evacuees, managed by the Red Cross, in another part of the convention center.
Starting Friday, two more locations for people experiencing homelessness were added: the Charles Jordan Community Center and the Mt. Scott Community Center, which was shifted to standby status on Saturday.
Once open,ed each site will remain available 24 hours for the duration of this smoke event, and include amenities such as meals. All sites will comply with COVID-19 protocols, including distancing.
In addition, the Joint Office continues to work with outreach providers and volunteer groups to distribute thousands of KN95 masks throughout Multnomah County.
Anticipating the high chance for smoke and unhealthy air, the Joint Office this week obtained an additional 40,000 masks, adding to a stockpile in hand because of COVID-19. Hundreds were distributed starting Thursday, Sept. 10, and outreach teams continued that work Friday while making plans to keep going over the weekend.
As this crisis lingers, the Joint Office and its nonprofit service providers, along with its partners in the City of Portland and Multnomah County, will continue to assess shelter and outreach needs and adjust as necessary.
For the latest updates on the ongoing wildfire emergency and Multnomah County's response, go to here.
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