The Council for the Homeless issued a severe-weather alert Monday, which asks shelters to provide additional overnight beds. The alert is in effect Wednesday night through the night of Tuesday, Dec. 3.
According to the National Weather Service in Portland, the low on Tuesday night will be 31 degrees in Vancouver and blustery with rain and snow likely. Wednesday night, the temperatures are expected to drop to 26 degrees. Thanksgiving night is forecast to be even colder, at 24 degrees.
The Council for the Homeless issues severe-weather alerts when the temperature drops below freezing or there is snow or freezing rain in the forecast.
Permanent year-round shelters are filled first, then the Winter Hospitality Overflow shelters, and then severe-weather beds, which are used as an emergency, stopgap measure. Immanuel Lutheran Church, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Living Hope Church and the Washougal Community Center host severe-weather beds when they have the volunteers to do so. During winter, the 211info telephone referral line maintains a list of warming centers and severe-weather shelters.
Last winter, severe-weather shelters were prompted to open 49 times. They served 334 individual guests, some for more than one night.
Those in need of shelter are asked to call the Housing Hotline at 360-695-9677. The hotline is open 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends. The Vancouver Navigation Center is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 2018 Grand Blvd. for people trying to get out of the elements during the daytime.