PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Advocates for a rest area that services up to 100 people experiencing homelessness per night say they need community support to keep operating.
Right 2 Dream Too has been providing temporary shelter for up to 12 hours for those facing homelessness, as well as shower and toilets at a city-owned parking lot across the street from the Moda Center since 2017.
Before then, they were located in Old Town and have since made a temporary arrangement with the city to rent their current Lloyd District location, on a year by year basis. The lease for that agreement ends in April.
Member Armando Saldivar has been staying at the facility, which has both group sleeping areas and individual tiny homes, for the past year. He explained that despite fairly smooth self-management of the facility, operating costs during the winter usually increases.
“Every year there’s a budget crunch around Christmas time. We start over and try to get back up the funds,” Saldivar said. He added that a fundraiser is happening at the camp to help make up for the budget shortfall on October 13, the organization’s eighth anniversary.
Lloyd Community Association board member Keith Jones, a vocal supporter of the camp, told KOIN 6 News the facility has been an asset to his neighborhood.
“We’ve had no crime issues whatsoever…when we’re looking for solutions to help our unhoused population, this is a good model to look at,” Jones said.
He added that he hopes the city would consider offering a longer lease to the facility to help it gain more stability. It’s currently housed in a parking lot used by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Jones said though the facility depends on community donations, it’s a highly cost-effective method of getting people sheltered, considering it only costs around $3,500 for all expenses each month to house up to 100 people each night.
Trillium Shannon, Right 2 Dream’s secretary, said the low barrier shelter facilitated 20,000 safe sleep sessions in the past nine months and over 30,000 in 2018.
The organization’s birthday party is Sunday, October 13 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at 999 N. Thunderbird Way where organizers say they’ll have “food, entertainment, tours, raffles and lots of fun!”