Portland, Oregon / December 6, 2017
With nightly temperatures forecast to be at or below freezing for the next several days, Catholic Charities is working to ensure the safety of all participants at Kenton Women’s Village. Because the pods at the village were built as temporary, low-cost shelter units for women working toward permanent housing, they are not well insulated, without power, and can be uncomfortable during extreme seasonal temperatures.
As on-site staff did in the summer, they will carefully monitor outdoor and indoor temperatures throughout the winter months. On evenings when the temperature is near, at, or below freezing, sleeping accommodations will be provided in the village’s heated community space, adjacent to the kitchen, shower, and restroom facilities. Villagers will also have the option of being transported to a local shelter for the night. Additionally, Catholic Charities has provided each participant with warm, winter-weather clothing and supplies.
Kenton Women’s Village has been advised by the Fire Marshal that maintaining an open flame in a pod, or running an extension cord to a pod, presents a real “health, life, and safety” danger. Catholic Charities is in discussion with city officials to identify ways to provide alternative heating options to individual pods.
Staff, in cooperation with the villagers, will continue to monitor weather throughout the winter months and make adjustments as necessary to ensure the safety and comfort of the women at Kenton Women’s Village.