Agencies throughout Multnomah County are preparing shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness in the event of winter weather.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, homeless service providers and first responders gathered Wednesday morning to speak about preparing shelter spaces for cold weather conditions.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury speaks at Imago Dei Church on Nov. 13, 2019, about winter weather preparations for houseless services.  

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury speaks at Imago Dei Church on Nov. 13, 2019, about winter weather preparations for houseless services.  

Meerah Powell/OPB

“We are about to enter the most dangerous time of year for people who are forced to live outside, and our promise on the worst winter nights [is] to provide no-turn-away shelters with transportation,” Kafoury said.

Multnomah County has about 1,400 year-round shelter beds, Kafoury said. Through partnerships with organizations like Transition Projects and Do Good Multnomah, it adds more than 200 additional beds to increase capacity during winter.

Kafoury and the community partners gathered at Imago Dei Church in Southeast Portland, one of the county’s initial locations for a no-turn-away shelter.

Kafoury said along with the county’s partnerships, community members are also an integral part of keeping people who are experiencing homelessness safe during the colder months.

“We need your help to be our eyes and ears,” Kafoury said. “Please donate and please look out for your neighbors.”

People can call 211 to arrange donations to shelter spaces for items such as socks, hats and sleeping bags. People can also call 211 if they are looking to locate or get transportation to a shelter.

More information can be found on the 211 website.