The City of Portland Unveils New Plan to Address Homelessness

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Portland plans to open the first of six huge outdoor homeless shelters by the end of the month. Politicians from the area gathered on Monday to tour the new shelter at the Clinton Triangle Temporary Alternative Shelter Site, which is situated at Southeast Gideon Street and Southeast 13th Avenue. After months of delays and discussion on the contentious program, the gathering had a joyous feel to it.

At a morning press conference, Mayor Ted Wheeler said, “We must provide safe and stable shelter opportunities in the interim while Portlanders navigate the complex and frequently years-long waiting lists for affordable housing.”

140 sleeping pods will be available in the city’s largest homeless shelter, which will house an estimated 200 homeless Portlanders. The facility has restrooms, showers, laundry, a dog run, and a kitchen where a nearby nonprofit organization called Feed the Mass will serve at least one hot meal each day. People with impairments can access a number of pods and restrooms.

Portland Shelter Provides Options for Those Who Don’t Want to Sleep Inside

Additionally, there are 20 tents on wooden platforms available for those who might not feel comfortable sleeping inside. The Portland City Council first endorsed this program in November along with a proposal to outlaw street camping by 2024, but there have been some setbacks since then.

The state threatened to withhold financing unless the city agreed to construct sleeping pods, despite the fact that it was only intended to provide tent shelters initially.

The city was able to buy the sleeping pods in April after Gov. Tina Kotek authorized spending more than $6 million in state funds to combat homelessness in the metro area. In its most recent annual budget, Multnomah County promised to allocate more than $4 million to the program.

Only three of the six large-scale outdoor shelters that are currently planned can be opened and maintained by the city. When there is proof that the first three sites are successful, according to Wheeler, state lawmakers will talk about supporting the remaining locations. Wheeler stated, “They want us to show that we can make it work. I have no doubts whatsoever that we will.”

On Monday, only 60 of the 140 sleeping pods were operational. According to Wheeler policy advisor Skyler Brocker-Knapp, the site will be live within the next two weeks. The pods won’t be filled right away.

The intake procedure will begin very slowly, according to Brocker-Knapp. People are moving in from long-term homelessness; we must allow them time to become used to this place. We don’t want to bring on too many people at once.

The tweet below verifies the news:

Clinton Triangle Shelter: Who Can Stay?

Only those who have been referred by a city outreach worker or nonprofit assistance provider are eligible for a bed at the Clinton Triangle shelter location. Anyone needing shelter who comes to the site’s entrance will be given a phone number to call to request a referral.

Urban Alchemy, a California-based nonprofit that has run homeless camps outside in Los Angeles and San Francisco since 2020, will oversee the facility. More than 100 Portlanders have been employed by the NGO to administer the shelters. The organization prioritizes employing workers who have firsthand knowledge of homelessness and incarceration.

Since the nonprofit is now being sued for suspected labor violations as well as allegations of s*xual abuse from an unhoused person, several Portlanders have voiced their concerns to the organization. Leaders of Urban Alchemy have refuted all charges.

The Portland City Council approved a five-year, $50 million contract in April for Urban Alchemy to run its bulk shelter facilities for the homeless. According to Urban Alchemy, running a single shelter will cost $5 million a year.

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According to Urban Alchemy, inhabitants often vacate California-based shelters after six months, and they anticipate the same will be true of Portland.

The objective is to match inhabitants with long-term housing choices they can eventually move into, freeing up a sleeping pod for another person. Those services will be provided on-site by Multnomah County.

β€œAt Multnomah County, we utilize housing first approach,” said Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson Monday. β€œIn this model, housing first is never housing only. It means housing now, with services too. Our focus will be meeting them where they are and helping to access safe and stable housing.”

Although there is a recognized lack of affordable housing in the Portland metro area, Vega Pederson said she is confident in the county’s Housing Multnomah Now program to quickly expand the available housing alternatives.

Private landlords can get incentives from Housing Multnomah Now in exchange for renting to formerly homeless people who receive county-funded rental assistance. Delays in state funding have hindered the program’s deployment. By the end of 2023, the city is planning to open a second large outdoor shelter. The location of that site has not yet been disclosed.

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Louis
Louis Ebert

Louis Ebert is a talented content writer with a passion for creating compelling stories and informative articles. With years of experience in writing, Louis has honed their skills in crafting engaging content that resonates with readers. As a content writer for Focushillsboro.com, Louis explores the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. From delving into the latest trends in local business to highlighting community events and leaders, their writing offers a unique perspective that captures the essence of the area.

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