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homelessness | social services

Freezing People

Homeless people are sleeping out in the snow.
To follow up on the news about homeless people out in this snow, I have contacted several shelters only to find out that they are all full and doing what they can, but there are still people left to the elements in our city and outlying areas. The "news" persists in telling us that it is snowing, it might snow, it is windy, it might freeze later and asking us to "stay home". Those of us watching, are lucky to be doing just that. I still wonder why we have left so many others in the cold and do not care to mention them.
Are there any plans to open temporary shelters to help folks through this storm? It goes without saying that the problems for homeless people far outreach this particular storm, and there are plenty of questions to ask regarding their situation, but I am very concerned about what is being done for them today.
I hear ya. 06.Jan.2004 11:14


many people are in need of shelter. Wonder if we could ask the shelters how we can help.

I did that 06.Jan.2004 11:40


Of course all shelters can use monetary support anytime. I take food directly to Sisters of the Road when possible, but cannot get there in this stuff. Also, I heard that Loaves and Fishes are not going to deliver warm meals to the elderly today and that we should check on elderly neighbors. I know that ordinary citizens already care and are doing what they can to help when they see a need. What I do not understand is why the corporate news is not covering any of this and why the city is not opening temporary shelters for folks in need. Individuals can do a lot, but sometimes more is required and I do not think it is happening.

opening a temporary shelter 06.Jan.2004 11:43


this issue is all i could think about yesterday. the first person i saw, i said to them "i am so grateful i have a home". which got me inspired to figure out a way to open a temporary shelter. i'm half expecting myself to open up my basement for a couple of folks, but i need to check with my housemates first. too much trouble. not sure if i want homeless people in my house, honestly.

1) we need a location--DOes anyone know of a warehouse with a heater and a bathroom?

2) is anyone else interested in this? I am interested in calling places to see if they will open up a place for temporary use. maybe we can get donated foam for the floor. maybe we could get some donated hot soup and coffee/tea.

email me at  charlac@pdx.edu if you are interested.


here are some resources 06.Jan.2004 13:12


Trying to find out today whether donations to homeless shelters are coordinated in any way, it took awhile to find anyone who was answering the phone. Sisters of the Road was actually closed due to the weather. Here's what I came up with: a person at Outside In suggested contacting Transition Projects, they provide shelter, clothes and food and have drop-off locations in neighborhoods all over the Portland area. Take a look at:

Also, you can donate to Outside In, which provides services to homeless youth and marginalized people:

Sisters of the Road Cafe serves food to the homeless. Look at this! You can buy meal coupons for $2 from Sisters, and give them to homeless people.

Another shelter that comes up frequently when searching for info is First United Methodist Church:

If you see a group of homeless trying to stay warm outside, another idea might be to just find some blankets (extras at home, thrift store bought, whatever) and just give them to the group.

As far as opening space at home, I know that would not be OK with my roommate, but that is a great idea. This works better for someone who would normally be home through the day such as a self-employed person who works at home.

Well, I wish that there was no such thing as 06.Jan.2004 13:45


"full" for shelters...can't there be even a gymnasium or something in which people could just sit down or lay down--even on bare floor--for the night? Just anyplace with heat? A church? And I wonder about the ones who have dogs too who can't bring them in the shelters (although I think it's cruel for homeless people to have dogs--the animals have no choice at all in the matter of their difficult, cold, impoverished condition--they must be accommodated as well).

just thought of something 06.Jan.2004 14:14


Here's an idea: if you live near a church, or better yet are a member of a congregation, pester the church pastor to allow homeless people to stay in the church overnight. If they have objections, see if you can overcome them. For example, if the concern is about theft / damage, maybe volunteers from the congregation will stay overnight to supervise. Providing a shelter for the homeless would certainly be in alignment with the teachings of Jesus (Christgian churches), as well as the figureheads of most religions.

Remind them that Jesus' parents were homeless 06.Jan.2004 14:24


I don't believe in the Jesus myth, but remind the church-managers that Mary and Joseph were themselves homeless. A reminder of the Good Samaritan story might also help.

first known casualty 06.Jan.2004 15:02

doug zitmater

Well, the first known homeless victim to freeze to death has finally been minimally mentioned by the news. "no signs of foul play" was the line I believed they used to tidy up the fact that we have helpless folks out there freezing to death. One KATU anchor actually took a second to wonder, "what is being done for these people?" Yes, Natalie, people DO die from the cold, and no Natalie, our public officials do not care. Ah well, back to the news: there are icy spots, folks are driving on the sidewalk, and we will continue to bring you live reports-not dead ones.

Homeless Assistance 06.Jan.2004 18:30

Mother of Sam

Definitely take some supplies to Dignity Village. Talk to folks there about how to help. Here in Eugene, there's only one shelter for single adults, and it is gross and toxic. Many would rather risk hypothermia than TB. Anyway, there may be organizations going out to do checks on people, they always need help, for example: make sandwiches or thermoses of hot tea, get plastic bags, tarps, blankets, warm clothes and just drive around, offer them to people.

back to back 06.Jan.2004 19:49


I am opening the back to back as soon as possible(it is now 7:45). bring em in.

Emergency Shelter??? 06.Jan.2004 19:57


Hi, I'm getting an emergency shelter set up thru the Back 2 Back cafe on 6th and Burnside. We've got some food and some blankets but we will need people to help us find and care for homeless people. We will need people with transportation(to get folks to the shelter), medical knowledge or familiarity with the local homeless community. Meet us at the Back 2 Back cafe on 6th and Burnside around 9pm.

Please Disregard The Question Marks 06.Jan.2004 20:01


The ??? was a typo. The Back 2 Back is definitely open now.
Hah! Tony, you beat me to it!

Winter Shelter Plan for Homeless Single Adults 06.Jan.2004 23:31


Multnomah County's plan with contact numbers:  link to www.co.multnomah.or.us

Homeless problem is Worldwide 16.Jan.2004 06:55

Leon philleon@juno.com

If anyone of you were to search "Frozen Homeless", you would find articles and stories on the homeless across our nation, in every city of america and across the world from The UK, Russia, China, India, etc, etc.

It is not a local problem, it is wide spread.

I have been researching the Homeless since I became one of them in 2001 due to the job situation in our country. No one can make it on their own at minimum wage when you are only allowed to work 32 hours a week. They keep your hours down to avoid paying health and medical and other benefits. Thankfully I'm a Veteran and I have coverage.

I currently stay 30 miles outside of Cleveland, Ohio in a Church basement with 50-60 other homeless, we have cold cereal in the morning an a hot meal at night. In by 10PM out by 8AM.

I worked with the phone companies for almost 30 years as an engineer, I lost everything, mostly in stocks and other investments.

On-Line Shelter locator 16.Jan.2004 07:14


This link will thak you to a web site that offers a map of the USA, click on the state that you are located in and it will provide a list of shelters and soup kitches in that state.

Note that it DOES NOT list ALL shelters in a given area, but contacting one may lead to another.

Here is the link to the Homeless shelters across the USA with a small sample of the links on their web site.


Homeless Shelters & Soup Kitchens
Search by State or Province,
Salvation Army Locator,

Homeless Shelters and Programs
Yahoo! Society and Culture:Poverty:Homelessness:Organizations:ReliefOrganizations:Shelters
State Food Stamp Information Hotline Numbers
The Kitchen Link Hunger Relief Organizations
Second Harvest Food Bank Locator
Meals on Wheels Programs List by State
Catholic Charities USA Locator
The Kitchen Link: Hunger Relief Organizations
Food and Nutrition Resource Guide for Homeless Shelters, Soup Kitchens, and Food Banks

Go To Page 1 for:
Hunger Facts, Statistics, and Shelters & Soup Kitchens: In The News

Go To Page 2 for:
Other Shelter & Soup Kitchen Links, Free For All Links, & Salvation Army Locator

Go To Page 4 for:
Still More Shelter & Soup Kitchen Links


Colleen Moore

I live in Vancouver where we have thousands of homeless people including women and children forced to live outside in freezing temperatures. Our government has taken the money of the backs of the homeless here and has sent it to the homeless people else where. Homeless people are brutalized by our police and we have cases in court where nothing happens to the officers for their cruelty and police still beat and attach the destitute. First our government demoralized Vancouver's most needy then they delegalized them (unable to feed them self through begging, searching garbage cans, dumpster diving etc. as this government has made it illegal as they our forced to starve. And then they dehumanize you. Isn't this what HITLER did to the Jews?