Low temperatures and freezing precipitation in the city of Portland triggered the availability of additional emergency shelter beds Sunday night.
The Housing Bureau lists about 240 shelter beds that can be made available when officials declare a winter weather emergency.
Portland housing commissioner, Nick Fish, says Sunday’s declaration was the first time the policy was enacted this season.
“Last night, it got down to the low 20’s and there was some precipitation. So we declared a winter weather emergency. And that meant that people that were otherwise forced to sleep on the streets had a place to go, get a mat, and a warm meal. And our goal is to protect people during inclement weather.”
Fish says the Office of Emergency Management consults with the Red Cross to open up the additional shelter beds.
Authorities communicate the availability of beds through the city’s 2-1-1 service.