Clackamas County in urgent need of volunteers at overnight warming centers

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From: Beth Byrne, Clackamas County Public and Government Affairs, 503-742-4353 

Media and Interested Parties

Clackamas County supports a network of severe weather warming centers for people experiencing homelessness on nights when the weather is expected to be dangerously cold. They open when the temperature is predicted to be 33 degrees or lower (including wind chill). They may also open when other conditions like wind or flooding make sleeping outdoors especially dangerous.

The cold front is expected to persist over the weekend and into next week, making emergency warming centers crucial to sheltering people who are homeless and sleeping outdoors. Our goal is to keep everyone safe during this extremely cold weather, and to do this we need your help!

We are looking for volunteers to staff shelters. Volunteer tasks include:

  • Guest sign-in – getting guests who are seeking shelter from the elements signed in for the night
  • Center monitor – being present and awake for a shift during overnight operation, typically from 4-6 hours, to ensure the safety of the warming center guests. Center monitors may prepare and distribute hot beverages or food, depending on the resources available at the warming center site.

We train all volunteers and pair newcomers with seasoned volunteers during shifts.

“Warming Centers serve a crucial life-saving function when the overnight weather is life threatening,” said Social Services Director, Brenda Durbin. “Clackamas County’s network of warming centers relies on the kindness and generosity of everyday residents who want to do something tangible to help. Please join us and sign up to volunteer at a Warming Center.”

Sign up to volunteer or contact Adam Neil at small.neil@gmail.com or 503-504-3322 for more information.

For more information, members of the media or public may contact Beth Byrne at bbyrne@clackamas.us or 503-742-4353.