PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland city leaders are guaranteeing that no one will be turned away from emergency shelters on the worst nights of the upcoming winter.
Those leaders, including Commissioner Dan Ryan, gathered at the Arbor Lodge shelter that opened Friday. That shelter will house 70 people in both outdoor heated pods and indoor cots. Next year this will become a long term shelter.
Portland has 5 locations across the metro area that will open on extreme weather nights: 25 degrees or colder, or 32 degrees with rain or snow. They range from community centers to the Portland Building. There are 250 beds at the 5 spots, but the city guarantees more spaces are available if needed.
Officials with the Joint Office of Homeless Services said there is a pool of on-call workers ready to help and a downtown outreach supply center stocking up on cold-weather gear in addition to food and water.
“We’re guaranteeing no one will be turned away on the deadliest nights of the year, and this will make a difference for our neighbors who live outside,” Ryan said Friday.
Multnomah County leaders said they’re prepared to shelter 2000 people when the weather gets cold.
More help is needed, though, for sleeping bags, warm clothing, heavy coats, boots, blankets. Donations can be made through 211info.org.