With cold temps, emergency shelters open in Portland



With temperatures in the 20s and 30s this week, emergency homeless shelters in Portland have opened their doors.

Union Gospel Mission is not usually an emergency shelter. But when it gets below freezing, the mission invites people in who don’t have a place to sleep.

“We really try to help everybody that we can. We don’t want anybody stuck outside – that could be a life or death situation with temperatures this” says Stacy Kean, communications director at the mission.

According to a Multnomah County report, 974 regular shelter beds are available in the metro area, but that’s for more than 2,300 homeless people

“So when it gets cold the majority of homeless people are out there, and there’s no resource for them so that’s why we open up and I know that’s why other places open up as well.”

The Red Cross also has opened an emergency shelter at Imago Dei Community Church in Portland. Overnight temperatures in the Willamette Valley are expected to dip below freezing all week.