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New Portland Warming Center Opens For Winter


The City of Portland and Multnomah County are joining forces to provide the first warming center to be open every night this winter.

Becca Bartleson reports.


Homeless families can now count on shelter from the cold. A new warming center on Northeast 81st street is opening its doors at 7:00 Monday evening.

The center will provide an escape from the elements for at least 20 families every night through March. And that's what's different about this warming center.

For the past several years, the Red Cross operated centers during severe weather alerts. Last year that was 16 nights.

Commissioner Nick Fish is head of the city's Bureau of Housing and Community Development, which spearheads the new program.

He says the bureau recently discovered how bad it is for people on the streets.

Nick Fish: "We're  seeing more people thrown out of their apartment, more people in the unemployment lines, more people going hungry. What I'm proud of is that at a time of diminished resources and crisis, the county and the city are working together as partners to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens."

A second warming center will also open downtown. It will provide shelter for single adults.