Largest homeless family shelter closed by leaky roof


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A leaky roof forced more than 100 homeless parents and their children out of Multnomah County’s largest emergency homeless shelter.

The heavy rain over the past few weeks caused the roof to leak and soft particles to fall down at the Human Solutions shelter on SE Stark Street. 

Officials said 110 people who were living at the shelter were moved into a space used for severe weather and a church across the street.

The shelter has been a safe haven for many families, especially because it doesn’t have a strict limit on how long they can stay. 

Vanessa Orange has been staying at Human Solutions with her 7 kids and granddaughter since September. 

They became homeless when she could no longer afford her rent, which was close to $1,500. She said she had to stop working because the family was in a car crash and she suffered some injuries.

“I’m trying to hang on to all my children,” Orange told KOIN 6 News. “If this shelter isn’t here, where are we going to be? Where are the rest of the families going to be?”

Until county officials can figure out of the shelter is structurally sound, many families will be staying in motels.

“I want to be clear, we took this step to be on the right side of caution, at no time did we believe anyone was in any physical danger,” Human Solutions Executive Director Andy Miller said. 

The problem prompted Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury to review all the county’s homeless shelters.

“Today I am ordering a review of our entire family shelter system to enure that our facilities will not fail those who need out help the most,” Kafoury said. 

Orange said this unexpected move is even more motivation get back on her feet. 

“I got to look for another job, I got to pull myself up from unraveling,” she said. 

Orange is looking for work as a cook, if you can help, her email address is 

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