Story by David Nguyen
Each year, non-profit 211info answers more than 120,000 calls from people in need and connects them with health and community resources that can help.
211 is an amazing resource for folks in our community who are feeling stuck: pulling from a database of more than 4,500 programs, expert staff at 211 can help you find a place to sleep, get help paying an overdue utility bill, connect with medical or legal services, and much more. Particularly in the winter, it's an invaluable resource for people looking for a warm, dry place to escape the weather.
Thanks to additional funding from the City of Portland and Multnomah County, 211 will extend its hours and expand its role this winter.
From 6 - 7 pm on weekdays and 8 am - 7 pm weekends, staff will provide referral services to Multnomah County callers seeking shelter. In the case of a severe weather event, they'll extend their hours of service to serve callers from 7 pm to midnight.
During the winter months the team at the Portland Housing Bureau coordinates with local service providers to expand shelter services and help our most vulnerable get through the coldest part of the year. About 250 new beds are available in the winter, including an additional shelter specifically for men and one for women.