Beaverton opens severe weather shelter for homeless

Up to 30 adults can stay there overnight

Volunteers at the Beaverton Community Center set up to act as an emergency shelter on January 12, 2017. (KOIN)
Volunteers at the Beaverton Community Center set up to act as an emergency shelter on January 12, 2017. (KOIN)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — With temperatures plummeting Thursday night and over the weekend, the push to get those who are homeless inside continues.

The Beaverton Community Center is opening as a severe weather shelter on January 12, 2017. (KOIN)
The Beaverton Community Center is opening as a severe weather shelter on January 12, 2017. (KOIN)

Portland Fire and Rescue workers have been reaching out to people on the streets in Portland, offering warm clothes and shelter space, but the battle goes beyond Portland too.

For the very first time, Beaverton is opening its community center as a severe weather shelter for the homeless. More than 2 dozen people will be staying there Thursday night.

“Homelessness doesn’t have boundaries,” Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle said.

Volunteers at the Beaverton Community Center set up to act as an emergency shelter on January 12, 2017. (City of Beaverton Twitter)
Volunteers at the Beaverton Community Center set up to act as an emergency shelter on January 12, 2017. (City of Beaverton Twitter)

Doyle and a group of volunteers are gearing up to help people get off the cold streets.

“All we’re trying to do is get warm,” Jacquelyn Eskelsen said. “Being homeless… it’s hard because day by day we’re wondering where we’re going to go.”

That uncertainty can be put to rest for Eskelsen and about 29 others who will get beds and meals at the Beaverton Community Center on cold winter nights.

One many who didn’t want to be identified said having a shelter in Beaverton can change lives.

“My feet are burning, my fingers are burning, I can’t feel my face and all I want to do is get warm,” He said. “Maybe get on my phone and find a job.”

That point is even more important after 4 homeless people died of hypothermia in Portland in the first 2 weeks of the new year.

Community members have been helpful in setting up the shelter in Beaverton.

“People have come by just today saying ‘we’ve seen your sign, we have extra food, extra blankets, is there anything we can do?’ It seems that people are just ready to start acting,” shelter coordinator Marielle McKenna said.

There is space at the shelter for 30 adults and they will get dinner and breakfast and a warm place to sleep.

The Beaverton Community Center shelter is located at 12350 SW Fifth St. Beaverton, OR 97007. It will be open Thursday nights from January 12-March 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

The Beaverton Community Center is opening as a severe weather shelter on January 12, 2017. (KOIN)
The Beaverton Community Center is opening as a severe weather shelter on January 12, 2017. (KOIN)