Hazardous Air from wildfires is flowing across the airspace of various parts of the United States of America. Though most residents are staying in their homes, community centers are helping the homeless to stay indoors. Centers like The Oregon Convention Center in Portland is taking in people without homes. The Joint Office of Homeless Services says if you or someone you know needs shelter, call 2-1-1 to confirm a space, and arrange a ride. The Charles Jordan Community Center and the Mount Scott Community Center of the same region announced they will be opening Friday night, with a capacity of about 150.
What Clackamas County Health said
Dr. Sarah Present of Clackamas County Health said that the air quality has turned hazardous for many of the citizens living in the metro area. She recommends everyone to avoid going outside. She emphasized by saying that everyone should stay inside, keep their doors and windows closed, and keep their indoor air as clean as they can.
Opinion Of A Street Dweller on Hazardous Air
Joseph Patridge, a street dweller said that he felt suffocated as noticed some light-headed hazardous air gnawing everywhere. Patridge gets free meals at the Blanchet house. On Friday last week, he collected a packet of KN-95 masks, but he decided not to keep them for himself.
“I decided to take one and take it back to the shelter so I gave it to them so they could distribute it to other people, with everything going on we all need help,” he said.
The Blanchet House is now distributing KN-95 masks to help the homeless from the hazardous air. Scott Kerman, Executive Director at Blanchet House, said that they have recently picked up a lot of donations of KN-95 masks. He believes that these KN-95 masks are the best masks to keep people safe from all the smoke particles in the air.
Seattle’s Mayor’s Opinion
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine of Seattle declared opening a new healthy air center in the locality of Seattle for homeless people during the hazardous air from wildfires this weekend. The site opened on September 11 has started operating 24 hours each day. They will supply approximately 80 people with healthy air and shelter. Mr. Durkan said that the simultaneous public health threats caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfire smoke force everyone to make tough decisions to minimize harm to the most vulnerable communities. The shelter will issue face coverings to staff and guests at the emergency shelter, and nursing stations and no-touch hand washing stations are available throughout the facility. The Seattle Human Services Department will continue exploring additional options for youth and family shelters.
Additionally, until Sunday, Seattle Parks and Recreation will close all parks, boat ramps, beaches, and play-fields through. The lavatory in parks will remain open. The University District Seattle Public Library (SPL) branch’s restroom will also be closed through the weekend.