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

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

What’s Happening at Human Solutions?

Happy New Year! 2018 went out with a bang here at Human Solutions. In December we hosted Governor Kate Brown, County Chair Deborah Kafoury and State Housing Director Margaret Salazar at the Gresham Women’s Shelter, received an award for our work on the Housing Crisis from the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, held our 14th annual Holiday Store for low-income families to find gifts for their kids, and proudly earned a $100,000 investment from Amazon.

I’d love to share some highlights with you – about both our exciting year-end events and what’s ahead in 2019. Also, I want to extend a BIG thanks to everyone who contributed during our year-end giving campaign. We are grateful for each and every gift and proud to have earned your trust.


GOVERNOR BROWN & CHAIR KAFOURY VISIT

We were delighted to welcome Governor Kate Brown, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and State Housing Director Margaret Salazar to the Gresham Women’s Shelter on December 10th for a press conference about the Governor’s proposed housing budget and priorities (event overview here). Importantly, the Governor took time to connect one-on-one with shelter residents to hear their thoughts and experiences. One resident read a written statement to the Governor, another performed a dance, and a third handed her a copy of the most recent Street Roots paper. They seized the opportunity to share themselves and their stories with the Governor. These visits are important because they connect decision-makers with individuals whose lives are impacted by homelessness.

Pictured here with the Governor is Human Solutions’ shelter manager Marci Catagena; Gov. Brown is holding a welcome card made by shelter residents.

 


AMAZON-SIZE DONATION

We are deeply grateful to our partners at Amazon for their generous contribution of $100,000. The donation is part of Amazon’s annual holiday campaign to celebrate with communities near its fulfillment centers (in our case, Troutdale) by making over $1 million in donations to nonprofits supporting homeless families across the U.S. Mike Moore, General Manager of Amazon’s Troutdale fulfillment center, summed it up:

“This holiday season, Amazon is giving back to the communities where our employees live and work, and we’re thrilled to support Human Solutions as part of this initiative. Human Solutions has given so much to the community for the last 30 years through their dedication to helping families find pathways out of poverty, and we’re excited to be partners in this important work.”

Read more here about Amazon's gift and the holiday party they threw for low-income families.


NEW REPORT ON LOCAL HOMELESSNESS

The Oregon Community Foundation – a terrific organizati

on with whom we are proud to partner - commissioned a report to take a deep look at the causes of homelessness in the Portland Metro Area in an effort to identify effective solutions. The report, “Homelessness and Housing in Portland: Root Cause Analysis Illustrates both Complexity and Potential for Collaborative Solutions,” is an important read. There’s a great Executive Summary if you don’t have time for the full report but have been wanting to understand more about this moral crisis and what a solution might look like.


HOLIDAY STORE 2018: IT’S A WRAP!

Well that was fun! This year we held our 14th Annual Holiday Store at a wonderful new (generously donated!) location, St. Aiden’s Episcopal Church at NE 174th & Glisan. Huge thanks go to everyone who gathered or made or purchased gifts and to the 80 volunteers who staffed the store – and to the cookie bakers who created our abundant snack station. This community effort provided holiday gifts to over 500 children in 170 low- and very-low income families. What’s really special about this event is that parents can choose new, unwrapped gifts for their kids. We’ll be doing it again next year, so mark your calendar to be involved!

Pictured: Human Solutions’ Yolanda Medina and a couple she works with who shopped at the store this year.

 


THANKS FOR THE AWARD

 

We were honored to be recognized by the East Portland Chamber of Commerce as a winner of its "Excellence in Community Service Award" for our work responding to the local Housing Crisis. We greatly value our relationship with EPCC, an organization based in East Portland that cares as deeply about our service area as we do. Thank you for the recognition!

Pictured here, L to R: Multnomah Commissioner Lori Stegman, Katia Selezneva and Andy Miller of Human Solutions, and EPCC President Gary Russell.


HOUSING POLICY

The Oregon State Legislature opens its 2019 legislative session on January 22nd. Housing bills will be front and center and Human Solutions will be paying close attention. We are an active member of the Oregon Housing Alliance, a local coalition of affordable housing advocates, and we will be supporting their policy agenda, including attending their “Housing Opportunity Day” in March. Stay tuned for details as that day approaches – it’s a great way to learn how our state legislature works and advocate for answers to our statewide housing crisis. One bill we are particularly keen on would bring us a step closer to preventing harmful and unnecessarily steep rent increases; it is explained in this Willamette Week article.


WE’RE HIRING!

Why not get a new job for the New Year? Human Solutions has several job openings right now. Join our mission-driven team!

Thanks, as always, for taking a minute to stay current with Human Solutions and the important community issues we are working hard to solve. We appreciate you!

October eNews from Human Solutions

There is so much to share with you this month – about what we’ve been up to and what’s coming down the pike. First and foremost: with Election Day upon us, we encourage you to vote. We know how concerned folks are right now about what’s happening in our area when it comes to housing stability. Human Solutions has endorsed two housing measures and the Portland Clean Energy Initiative. We urge your vote in support of these local and statewide measures that we believe are critical to solving our local housing and homeless crises and to expanding community equity.


Visit From Governor Brown

What an honor it was to host Governor Brown yesterday at Arbor Glen, one of our affordable housing communities. She joined our staff and incredible residents for a dialogue and listening session to hear from people with very low incomes and experiences with homelessness. It really was an amazing opportunity to convey to decision makers what people are facing every day - from barriers to housing like criminal histories and past evictions to childcare affordability struggles and juggling multiple jobs. We were inspired by how hard families work to make ends meet, raise kids and overcome barriers that too often are the outcomes of policies that create and perpetuate poverty and inequality. The morning filled our hearts and sharpened our determination to keep doing the work we do at Human Solutions. What a day! We are grateful to Governor Brown for wanting to hear directly from some of the most vulnerable Oregonians she serves and to take their experiences and thoughts into account as she strategizes solutions.


Be the Solution: Phone Bank for Affordable Housing

Human Solutions has proudly endorsed the Metro Regional Housing Bond (local Measure 26-199) and the constitutional amendment for housing bonds (statewide Measure 102). We did so because together they will make real strides toward adding desperately needed affordable housing in our region. To ensure these measures pass, we have knocked on doors to chat with voters and are hosting a phone bank next week on Tuesday evening, October 30th at our Rockwood office (124 NE 181st  here’s a map). You will want to be there because you’ll know you were part of the solution – PLUS you can see our cool office space and eat candy with us the day before Halloween. Drop in for an hour or two (or three!) between 5:30 and 8:30 PM.

Please spread the word and invite friends on Facebook – here’s the event page.


Join Us @ Our 30TH Anniversary Celebration & Gala Auction

We’re planning a BIG PARTY to celebrate our 30th Anniversary on Saturday, November 17, 2018. We hope you’ll spend the evening with us as we come together as a community to know each other a little better and fuel Human Solutions work into the future. It is so needed right now!

Get event details and register right here; contact Matthew at 503.548.0279 with any questions. See you in a few short weeks for a very fun night! Thanks to all who have already purchased tickets and tables – they are selling fast!


Season of Sharing: It's Nearly Time for Our Annual Holiday Toy Drive!

The annual Holiday Toy Drive is a joyful tradition at Human Solutions! Every year, we partner with volunteers and organizations in our community to collect gifts for kids who need them and invite their parents to “shop” (for free, of course!) for the holidays. The event serves low-income community members who live in our affordable housing communities or are participating in our programs. Details and volunteer sign-ups are on our web page. We hope you join in this community tradition – we’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you did!


Our New Development in Portland’s Gateway Neighborhood

We are working with experienced local developer Gerding Edlen Development to build a catalytic, mixed-use community next to the new Discovery Park in the heart of the Gateway community in East Portland.

There will be ground-floor retail fronting Halsey Street and the park plaza, as well as a second-floor office and service center for Human Solutions, and 78 units of mixed-income housing adjacent to the park. We are busily pulling all the pieces together so we can break ground in early 2019. If you’ve not yet visited Discovery Park, we can’t recommend it enough. The photo here is a rendering of how the building will look, a product of robust community input. We like it a lot and believe it will be a real asset to east Portland and a wonderful home for Human Solutions, area businesses and 70 families for years to come!.


New Report on Portland Area Homelessness

Earlier this month the Oregon Community Foundation (one of our generous funders) released a report to better understand and solve the area’s growing homelessness problem. We appreciate funders zeroing in on this critical issue in an effort to identify effective solutions to get behind. While we were not surprised by its finding (we need more affordable housing and services), we were glad to know that the credible partners who produced this report validated our approach to ending homelessness – providing deeply affordable housing coupled with services that support the success of residents. We’re including a link to the full report here, but if you’re short on time (as most are these days!), the six-page Executive Summary offers a great summary. Check it out!

Thanks, as always, for reading. We’re glad you’re part of our community and our work and invite you to get in touch with questions anytime.  

We’ve Pledged Yes

It’s election season! Human Solutions is proud to support two measures on your November ballot that will help solve our homeless and affordable housing crises: the Portland Metro Regional Bond (Measure 26-199) and the statewide constitutional amendment (Measure 102).

The Yes for Affordable Housing campaign is working to win both, and we are pleased to be partnering with them to reach voters. Thank you for your time to read through this update and hopefully we will see you at either our upcoming phone bank or canvass – or both!

Vote YES for Affordable Housing

We have a big opportunity this fall to address the need for affordable home for folks who live and work in our communities. By voting YES on Measure 102 and Measure 26-199, we can help up to 12,000 people in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties secure a safe, affordable place to live.

Human Solutions has joined over 600 nonprofits, businesses and community leaders who have endorsed Measure 102 and Measure 26-199. We are asking you to join us.

We invite you to pledge to vote YES for Affordable Housing on November 6th.

Skyrocketing rents have priced hard-working people and families out of their homes. In our region, a person making minimum wage would have to work 81 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.

Measure 26-199 is a regional affordable housing bond that will build or preserve affordable homes for thousands of our neighbors in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties -- and it will only cost the average homeowner $5 per month. Measure 102 is just as critical. It’s a sensible statewide ballot measure that will allow local governments to work with nonprofits and local businesses to make affordable housing bond money go further. Together, these two measures will house up to 12,000 people in our communities.

This fall, every single vote counts. Your support will make a difference. Please pledge to vote YES on Measure 102 and Measure 26-199 today. Thank you for your support!

Please join Human Solutions to get the word out about the Yes for Affordable Housing campaign:

  • Sunday, October 14th from 1 to 4 PM we’ll be knocking on doors in East Portland/County to talk with voters. Meet at the Human Solutions office at 12350 SE Powell Blvd.
  • Tuesday, October 30th from 5:30 – 8:30 PM we’ll be making calls to voters from our Rockwood office @ 124 NE 181st (near Burnside).

You need not be an expert or have any experience! We’ll train you, and of course we’ll have snacks.

Please sign up to volunteer here!

We look forward to seeing you later this month and thank you wholeheartedly for being part of this communitywide solution.

Fall eNews (and an invite!) from Human Solutions

As summer winds down, we are looking ahead to a busy fall, when we will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary with a fun gala and auction. We’ve been doing effective anti-poverty work – with help from many of you - in and with the East Portland / Multnomah County community since 1988! We want YOU to join us as we celebrate all that we have accomplished together – and look ahead to all that we will do in the future. DON’T MISS IT!

Beyond celebrating our work together, we have lots of other news to share with you:

OUR AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR KIDS IS SERIOUSLY FUN!

LearnLinks is our after-school and summer program that we run for kids in kindergarten through 8th grade who live in our affordable housing communities and emergency shelter. Activities are provided on-site, which is key, so when kids get home from school in the afternoon they can get a snack, some homework help, and supervised playtime. Our goal for the program is to foster greater academic achievement in public school, support positive character traits and leadership skills, increase parent participation in their kids’ academic lives, and support the overall stability of families. Watch this short video to see the activities the kids have been up to this summer (big thanks to the Portland Children’s Levy for both helping fund the program and creating this video).

JOIN US @ OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION & GALA AUCTION

We’re planning a BIG PARTY to celebrate our 30th Anniversary on Saturday, November 17, 2018. That may seem like a long way off, but really it’s just around the corner! Please save the date and grab your ticket now – in fact, why not host a table and fill it with friends and family who also want to live in a community where housing is affordable to all?

Get event details and register right here; contact Matthew at 503.548.0279 with any questions. See you in November!

BEAUTIFUL HAND-MADE APRONS DONATED TO THE GRESHAM WOMEN’S SHELTER

The incredible quilters of the Mt. Hood Quilt Guild have donated beautiful quilts to Human Solutions for years – all of which we have delightedly passed along to local families who need them. This summer, guild members (pictured here in their creations) sewed 20 wonderful aprons for the residents and visiting chefs at the Gresham Women’s Shelter, an emergency shelter for 90 unaccompanied women (and their pets!). And they do it all with donated fabric, to boot! THANK YOU to the Mt. Hood Quilt Guild from the bottom of our hearts. We have the best community partners!

SEASON OF SHARING: IT’S NEARLY TIME FOR OUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY STORE!

The Annual Human Solutions Holiday Store is a joyful tradition! Every year, Human Solutions partners with volunteers in our community to collect gifts for kids who need them and invites their parents to shop for the holidays. The event serves low-income community members who live in our affordable housing communities or are participating in our programs. The gifts come from anyone inspired to share during the holiday season of sharing – is that you?

We invite you to help us put on this terrific event – we need toys, volunteers and generous sponsors. Get details on our website or contact us directly: holidaystore@humansolutions.org or 503.548.0213.

TRI-MET’S NEW LOW-INCOME FARE

We are pleased to share that Human Solutions recently became a community partner for TriMet’s Low-Income Fare program. For current clients of Human Solutions who have trouble affording TriMet fare, relief may be available through this new program. Here’s how it works: Oregon residents who are 18 to 64 years old and have an income less than twice the federal poverty level can apply to ride for a lower fare. If approved, riders will save 50% off a single ride or day pass or 72% off a month pass. As a community partner, Human Solutions’ staff are trained to qualify applicants income when they come to one of our locations, making it easier for people in the community to sign up. Find out if you’re eligible and apply here. We know firsthand how important it is to make public transit affordable to those who depend on it.

Thanks for reading and for always supporting Human Solutions and the wonderful folks we get to work with every day.