Salvation Army shelter opens in response to freezing weather in - KPTV - FOX 12

Salvation Army shelter opens in response to freezing weather in Portland

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With the temperatures in the Portland metro dipping below freezing this week, many volunteer agencies are opening up warming shelters both day and night.

The Salvation Army shelter on Southwest 2nd Avenue and Southwest Ankeny Street is normally just open during the daytime, but Monday it opened for the night as well, providing space for 31 women.

There are six severe weather shelters in the Portland area in addition to the year-round shelters that serve about 1,500 homeless people.

Many shelters serve either women or men, while some serve families and a few even provide shelter for pets.

Officials with the Salvation Army said more than 4,000 people are homeless in Multnomah County, and a joint task force made up of city and county officials is promising no one will be turned away from shelters this winter.

Debbie Steed and Sheryll Rebucas were among those who found shelter Monday night at the Salvation Army's Women's Shelter, and both told FOX 12 how grateful they were that they did not have to spend the night outside in the 20-degree temperatures.

"I appreciate it. I stayed outside one time and I don't want to ever do that again,” Rebucas said. “It's bad out here. Downtown has gotten worse in the last five years.”

Authorities noted that four homeless people died in Portland during last year’s severe winter weather.

For a list of shelters and how to help, call 211. Anyone who sees someone needing immediate help is asked to call 911.

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