Portland’s emergency shelters close and push homeless into frozen rain and blizzard conditions

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PORTLAND, Ore — Multnomah County received a lot of criticism on social media when they announced they were closing emergency warming shelters Saturday morning after temperatures rose above their emergency threshold.

The county in conjunction with the City of Portland will open warming shelters when temperatures drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. By Friday the county had opened 5 to allow those living on the street and otherwise in need to get out of the dangerous temperatures.

By Saturday morning the temperature in Portland had warmed up to about 30 degrees.

Director of Emergency Management for Multnomah County Chris Voss said the night before they would likely close the shelters on Saturday. Which they did at 8:00 a.m.

But conditions were still very cold and icy at that time, prompting outrage on social media when they posted about the closures.

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