Winter Weather Shelter Info for Multnomah County

When it gets cold enough, the Joint Office of Homeless Services (operated by the City of Portland and Multnomah County) declares a severe weather advisory and brings additional shelter capacity online to ensure that everyone who wants to be inside can be inside for the night.

We are sharing here information from the Joint Office:

When the Joint Office declares a severe weather advisory, 211 becomes available 24 hours and will coordinate transportation to available shelters for anyone in need. A cold weather advisory also triggers additional outreach capacity, giving outreach workers more flexibility to obtain and distribute life-saving gear.

Overall, the Joint Office funds 1,365 year-round shelter beds and an additional 255 seasonal beds that are all open every night from late fall through early spring — no matter the forecast outside. In addition to those more than 1,600 beds, the Joint Office and Transition Projects stand ready to open severe weather beds as forecasts dictate.

Ways You Can Help:

Please donate winter gear

Service providers and the Joint Office are continuing their call for community donations of life-saving winter gear. Donations had been lower than usual this season, thanks to what had been a long run of mild conditions. Many people have since stepped up with donations as conditions took a turn, but more is always needed. Night after night, outreach workers have been handing out gear to keep people warm and safe as soon as it's come in.

Items especially important to donate items including waterproof hats, gloves, blankets, tarps, sleeping bags and coats.

Please visit 211info.org/donations to see a specific list of winter gear and where it can be dropped off.

Human Solutions can accept donations at 12350 SE Powell Blvd., Monday to Friday 8 AM to 5 PM.

The following items are needed:

  • Thick socks
  • Waterproof/resistant gloves or mittens (preferably dark colors/black)
  • Waterproof/resistant winter coats (men’s and women’s 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

We appreciate everyone's willingness to help, however they can. But please keep in mind: Some items, like home-cooked food, present health challenges around illnesses, allergies and germs — even from the most well-meaning donors — and can’t be accepted. In addition, volunteers and others working at shelter sites won’t have the capacity to track, clean and return food containers, flatware and other items left at shelter sites.

How to help neighbors in distress

If you see someone outside unsheltered whose life appears to be in danger or is in an apparent medical crisis, call 911. Otherwise, if you see someone about whom you are concerned, such as not being dressed for the weather conditions, call police non-emergency (503) 823-3333 and request a welfare check for that person.

To help someone find shelter and arrange transportation to shelter, please call 211.

Multnomah County offers mental health crisis resources, at any hour, for anyone experiencing a crisis. Mental health clinicians can provide direct phone assistance to individuals experiencing a mental-health crisis including: escalated symptoms of agitation, anxiety, depression, psychosis, dangerous to self or others, substance use, etc. Call (503) 988-4888 or visit the Multnomah County Mental Health Crisis Intervention website for more information.

When it's cold outside
If someone outside is unsheltered and you are concerned they could be in danger due to cold weather, call 9-1-1 and request a welfare check. To help someone locate shelter and for transportation to shelter, please call 2-1-1 or go online at 211info.org.

A lone tent on a snowy day in Portland
People seeking to get warm on winter days when warming shelters are not open are welcome in government buildings that are open to the public, including, for example, libraries and community centers. Library hours are listed on Multnomah County Library’s website. City community center information is listed here.

Severe Weather Warming Centers
A Home for Everyone a collaboration between Multnomah County and the City of Portland. The partners, supported by the Joint Office of Homeless Services, operate shelters year-round for people experiencing homeless and add hundreds of beds open all winter. Beyond those year-round and seasonal beds, partners open additional warming shelters when severe weather hits to keep hundreds of people safe, generally 10 to 20 times each year.

Joint Office staff monitor weather conditions and open emergency warming centers as needed. Warming shelters may open when:

  • Temperatures are forecast at 25 degrees or below
  • Forecasters predict an inch or more of snow
  • Overnight temperatures drop below 32 degrees, with an inch of driving rain.
  • Other conditions occur as needed, including severe wind chills or extreme temperature fluctuations

Transition Projects will open one or more shelters based on need and location. This year those sites are Bud Clark Commons, Imago Dei and the Sunrise Center. These are low-barrier shelters with access for bikes, carts and pets. Additional shelters would open if conditions worsen. 211info moves to 24-hour operations and shares information about shelter options and donation needs, and coordinates transportation to shelter during severe weather events.

Seasonal Shelters
In addition to the severe-weather beds that open only when certain weather thresholds are met, the Joint Office of Homeless Services also opens 250 to 300 beds of seasonal shelter beds every fall, winter and spring. These beds are open night after night, no matter the forecast, from November/December through April. To make this work possible, the Joint Office works closely with business and faith leaders who donate space, as well as experienced shelter operators, including Transition Projects, Portland Homeless Family Solutions and Do Good Multnomah.

Just like with year-round shelters, winter shelters are available only through reservations. Anyone interested in accessing shelter should contact 211.

In 2018-19, the following winter shelters are open:

Walnut Park Shelter, 5329 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.; 80 beds, operated by Transition Projects
Winter Family Shelter, 1150 NW 17th Ave; 75 beds, operated by Portland Homeless Family Solutions
North Portland Emergency Warming Center, 4775 N Lombard St.; 50 beds, operated by Portsmouth Union Church and Do Good Multnomah
Rose City Park United Methodist Winter Shelter, 5830 NE Alameda; 40 beds (30 for non-veterans), operated by Do Good Multnomah, alongside their year-round shelter at the church.
Additional beds are also available in the youth homeless shelter system.
Cold Weather Alerts
Even when severe weather thresholds aren't met — but when temperatures are forecast at 32 degrees or below — the Joint Office will issue a "cold weather alert."

No severe weather beds will open during a cold weather alert. But providers will conduct additional and focused outreach and have the ability to quickly obtain and distribute cold weather gear. And 2-1-1 Info will move into 24-operations, sharing information on resources and helping people connect to available shelter.

https://multco.us/winter-weather/warming-shelters-and-homelessness

Introducing: Path Builders! Our Monthly Giving Program

Issec and her son

Issec is thriving now – she has a job that she loves and a home she can afford where she can raise her 11-year-old son. But it wasn’t always this way.

Just a few years ago, Issec came to Human Solutions for help: she was experiencing emotional and economic instability and didn’t have a stable place to live. Issec worked hard with the incredible staff at Human Solutions, who helped her create a plan to get where she wanted to be, which included: getting her GED, finding a living-wage job she enjoys, and moving into a stable home with her son so he can continue attending his neighborhood school. And she accomplished it all. Wow, right?!

At Human Solutions, we help people build pathways out of poverty all the time. It’s what we do.

I’m excited to share with you that TODAY we are launching our new PATH BUILDERS monthly giving program, a convenient and powerful tool to invest in your community and live your values. We invite you to join up!

Will you be one of our first PATH BUILDERS?

Just click here - It’s easy to sign up with a credit card or your bank account.

Here are a few examples of how impactful your gift will be:

  • $5/month covers application fees for two people seeking housing
  • $10/month sends a recently trained Certified Nurse’s Assistant to work with a new uniform and start-up supplies
  • $25/month sends a woman to a 6-month trauma recovery & empowerment workshop series
  • $50/month purchases essential supplies for a family moving from homelessness into permanent housing
  • $100/month makes it possible for 10 kids to participate in band, sports or other special interests

Thank you for becoming a PATH BUILDER today! Signing up will give you the peace of mind that you are doing all that you can to prevent homelessness and end poverty in your community.

Questions? Prefer to sign up by phone? Matt can help - contact him at 503.548.0279 or mhushbeck@humansolutions.org.

Everyone at Human Solutions values our supporters because YOU are what fuels our work!

Senate Bill 608: New Renter Protections for Oregon

Senate Bill 608 passed the Oregon House of Representatives and is on its way to the Governor for signature. This bill will go into effect when signed by the Governor – which we expect to happen very soon. As you may have heard, this new law will fundamentally change Oregon Landlord Tenant Law by regulating when and how Oregon landlords can increase rents.   The new law also sets limitations on when landlords can use “no-cause” evictions and requires landlords to pay relocation payments to tenants in certain circumstances. I expect materials to be made available soon by tenant-rights organizations like Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) that provide detailed information on the new law for service providers, advocates and renters in multiple languages.   We will share that information as it becomes available. The highlights of the new law are as follows:

  • Provides protection from no cause evictions for tenants after the first year of occupancy.
  • Provides statewide protection from economic evictions by limiting rent increases to no more than seven percent plus the consumer price index percentage (typically 1-3%). It exempts regulated housing (like our affordable housing ) and new construction for the first fifteen years.
  • Requires landlords to pay limited relocation payments when the landlord ends a tenancy due to certain circumstances (to renovate, move in themselves, sale of unit, etc)

First – some celebration. A collection of advocacy agencies, including Human Solutions, has been working on this type of legislation for many years. This is landmark legislation that puts Oregon ahead of most states in its regulation of the private rental housing market. Many staff and board members from Human Solutions lobbied for these kinds of protections, wrote op-eds, canvassed for legislators who supported these protections and contributed to coalitions that helped get this bill passed. It is a huge victory for renters in this state and will help us advance our mission by increasing housing security!

There are a few cautions for us to be aware of. The bill does not go as far as many in the advocacy community would have liked and leaves some renters vulnerable.   Renters approaching the end of the first 12 months of occupancy should be aware that landlords can still use no-cause evictions. There are some who fear that landlords may attempt to end tenancies in the 12th month pre-emptively to retain their ability to use no-cause evictions. Many agree that the limitation on rent increases (typically around 9-10% given recent CPI data) is too high, and that some landlords will use this as a guide and raise rents the max allowed every year because they fear additional controls on rents may be coming in future years. Some have raised fears that landlords will increase rents or termination activity before the law goes into effect in the next week or two (it is awaiting the Governor’s signature). Given these and other cautions, there are a few things we should be doing right now as the law is about to take effect.

  • Training: Those of us working closely with the rental housing industry will need training on the new law. We will be watching for training events, materials and online information – please share whatever you find so we can raise our collective awareness of these new protections. My sense is Rent Well and other entities will be providing detailed training and material updates soon.
  • Monitoring: We should be watching for and documenting any potential behavior that appears to defy the spirit of the new law. If you hear of participants who receive eviction notices or rent increases that appear designed to skirt the purpose of the law or any escalation of rents or the use of no-cause notices before the law takes effect, please provide me with whatever detail you can so I can share with partners who will be monitoring statewide for that kind of behavior. While we may not be able to address the situation directly, our friends working closely with the legislature will want to hear about any abusive behavior and also hear whether some of these fears were indeed unfounded.

Thanks, and stay tuned for more information about this exciting change in our laws. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.

Path Builders | Monthly Giving Program

Dine Out for Human Solutions!

Dine Out for a Great Cause! All are welcome, including kids! Dine out at the Power Station Pub at Edgefield and McMenamins donates 50% of the Pub's evening sales to Human Solutions. A fun way to support a good cause. Human Solutions management and staff will be there to welcome and visit with supporters. We hope you can make it!

Where: 2126 SW Halsey St, Troutdale, OR 97060

When: Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 from 5 PM to Midnight