Right now, however, we - as a city, a region, and a state - need to find a way to deal with the crisis at hand.
To that end the City of Portland is working with community partners, the American Red Cross, and the State Center for Disease Control & Prevention to operate a temporary emergency shelter at the Portland Expo. That facility opened on Wednesday, June 12th at 5pm.
Numerous people and groups have reached out to learn how they can help. If you are interested in volunteering or making donations to assist in this effort, here are some things you can do.
- To volunteer to help at the Expo, please visit this page on the United Way website. And please be patient. As shelter security is of the utmost importance, volunteers need to be screened before they can be admitted to work with families and children residing at the shelter. Please do not show up at the Expo without receiving a volunteer assignment. You will be turned away.
- The most pressing need at this time is still for financial resources. To donate directly to the City to cover shelter/housing needs and basic necessities, visit this site where you'll find an online donation form and information about where to send or drop off checks. You can also donate by texting the word EXPO to 91999 and following the prompts. All funds received through any of these channels will go directly toward supporting asylum seekers in our community.
- If you are a social service agency or business that is looking to be involved in the city's coordination of resources, email Mo Puia.
- Physical donations are not being accepted at the Expo at this time. Please be patient. We will continue to need help beyond this week, and we need those of you who wish to donate items to be on standby for now. As soon as it becomes clear which items we need assistance obtaining, the city will make a list available and instruct people where to bring those items.
Thanks to all who have already reached out to learn how they can help!
One of the things I've always loved about Portland is how willing people are to get engaged with issues that are important to them. We are a tremendous community, folks. I'm very proud to call this City home.