Warming shelter opens for season in Portland

From KGW.com, November 2, 2009

As temperatures dipped into the 30’s and 40’s overnight this past weekend, the first warming center for homeless families of this winter season opened Sunday night in Northeast Portland.

Authorities said the center at 1435 NE 81st Avenue will stay open until 7:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Joshua Ackley has been out of work for more than 3 months. He and his daughter, Nicole, came in out of the cold to stay overnight in the shelter.

“It makes me a lot more comfortable closing my eyes, knowing that she’s safe and warm,” Ackley told KGW.

“There are many families like Josh and Nicole where if they tried to go to a shelter for singles they would be turned away,” Jean DeMaster with Human Solutions.

Last winter, more than 2,300 people in homeless families were in need of shelter. But nearly 400 homeless parents and kids had to be turned away.

The big concern was when the temperatures drop, it could be dangerous for homeless parents and kids to sleep outside.

“What we anticipate it will be down in the 30’s most nights in November, December, January and February. And it will be raining it’s Oregon it will be raining. Families will be outside, maybe in their cars, but they really need a warm and safe place to come in at night,” said DeMaster.

People could also access housing, employment and other services at the family warming center provided by Multnomah County and The City Of Portland. Families could reach the homeless shelter on several max lines or bus. It can be accessed on the Blue, Red Or Green Max lines to the NE 82nd station or on TriMet’s “77” or “72” buses.

View Larger Map