PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four overnight cooling centers are open in Portland through Thursday morning.

There is room for 250 people overnight, and they’ll open more spaces if needed. If the heat continues, they’ll keep the cooling centers open as necessary.

The cooling centers are located at:

  • Charles Jordan Community Center on North Foss Ave.
  • East Portland Community Center on Southeast 106th Ave.
  • The Portland Building on Southwest 5th
  • Sunrise Center on East Burnside

Marshell Hines, a guest at one of the cooling centers, lives in Southeast Portland’s Cully Neighborhood, where her apartment doesn’t have air conditioning.

“I got so hot I couldn’t breathe. I got upset because I couldn’t find my phone and I started crying,” she said.

While she doesn’t drive, Hines’ neighbor helped her call 211 for resources.

New this summer, the city and county put together a transportation service where people like Hines can be picked up and taken to the nearest cooling center.

“We’re working as hard as we can getting as many vehicles as possible out and about in the community doing outreach and taking people to and from shelters,” said ground support lead Alex Dolle. “It has been a day with a lot of demands, we’ve had calls coming in, and we’ve had people sprawled out very close to being unconscious.”

During the heat wave, TriMet is also free for someone riding to a cool place who can’t afford to pay the fare.

Denis Theriault with Multnomah County says they learned from last year’s heat wave and that communication about cooling centers is key.

“We did a text alert in English and Spanish to 10,000 mobile home residents in Multnomah County. That’s something that we did new this year that’s really important,” he said.

City and county officials brought down a massive air conditioner from Seattle to keep the East Portland Community Center cool. With the more comfortable conditions, Hines says she can finally relax.

“If it’s too hot if you can’t think, go get into a shelter, there are shelters everywhere,” she said. “That’s what they’re there for. They’re there to help us.”