MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - With temperatures expected to drop below freezing, the city of Beaverton triggered severe weather shelter operations Sunday.
The Beaverton Community Center opened at 5:30 p.m. and is serving hot meals and offering emergency beds. The shelter can hold 30 people. It’s open every Thursday and then operates as an emergency, severe-weather shelter on a rotating basis with other shelters, when temperatures fall below 32 degrees.
Allison Santos Kroger, 65, was grateful to have somewhere to go after spending Saturday night outside.
“I couldn’t manage last night, because I was out, and I had a new pair of gloves, but my feet were wet and I had to walk some distance over to Tualatin Valley Highway to catch a bus and I just stayed on the bus to stay warm," said Santos Kroger. “It’s normally one night at a time and so the stress – it’s been very difficult for me."
The shelter is managed by Just Compassion. Executive Director Vernon Baker expects it will be a busy winter, as the city of Beaverton, six months earlier, passed an ordinance banning camping on city streets and sidewalks.
“It does impact homeless shelters in terms of the numbers – just the homeless population trying to find a place that’s dry and somewhat warm to sleep,” Baker said.
In Multnomah County, it’s not cold enough to trigger severe weather shelters – the county says it must be 25 degrees or colder – or a significant weather event with snow, sleet, heavy rain or winds.
Still, county leaders said community-based warming centers will be open.
In northeast Portland, a new winter shelter, the Walnut Park Shelter, opened about two weeks ago and offers 80 beds. It will be open throughout the winter.
Nonprofit Transition Projects is running the county-funded winter shelter.
For those left outside, Transition Projects is collecting warm winter clothing to take off the edge. Right now, it’s in need of socks, underwear, coats and other cold-weather gear.
Donations can be dropped off at Transition Projects Hoyt Center at 665 NW Hoyt Street.
Nonprofit JOIN, located at 1435 NE 81st Avenue, is also collecting winter items. They said the following items are needed:
- Footwear and thick socks
- Waterproof/resistant gloves or mittens (preferably dark colors/black)
- Waterproof/resistant winter coats (adult sizes)
- Sleeping bags and warm blankets
- Waterproof/resistant hats (preferably dark colors/black)
- Knit hats (preferably dark colors/black)
- Tarps (preferably brown, dark colors)
- Hand warmers
- Rain ponchos
For more information on shelter information by county, visit 211info.org.
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