PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than two days after an uncle and his 11-year-old niece were shot, the family tells KOIN 6 News they are still working to find shelter after being turned away by a hotel they were told Multnomah County had secured for them.
“They didn’t feel safe with us there. And they refuse service to us after that. We called the victims unit, and they told us that they had the right to refuse service to anybody and there’s nothing they can do about it,” the victim said. “I’m still wearing the same clothes I was shot in. It’s broken. They don’t do anything for anyone who is actually hurt or in trouble.”
The uncle says they are working with county advocates who are dealing with a shortage of shelter beds while they look for safe housing.
With the alleged attempted murderer Rashad Calbert still at large, KOIN 6 asked the county how the victim’s like this family could be left seemingly in the dark.
“We do not have enough shelter beds in our county to meet the needs of every survivor,” said Alix Sanchez, senior manager at Multnomah County Domestic And Sexual Violence Coordination Office.
According to Sanchez, a lack of shelter beds along with post-COVID dwindling hotel vacancies are the main barriers the county faces when trying to get victims into emergency housing.
And because the county doesn’t exit survivors from domestic violence shelters without another place for them to go, Sanchez says their primary resource for after-hours placements is generally hotels.
“There is inherent risk in sheltering in general, and most hotels, I would say no hotels, are not really set up with that type of service in mind. But they are a critical resource for us,” she said.
Sanchez says the county recognizes these cases are complex and their advocates are doing the best they can to connect survivors to resources with what is available. They urge anyone who may be struggling or seeking help to contact them.