New SE Portland shelter prepares for winter

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Clothes, blankets, and hot meals requested from donors

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new Southeast Portland shelter is preparing for its first winter in operation. That includes a call for people to donate their warm apparel or volunteer to prepare a hot meal at the site’s kitchen

The Laurelwood Center on SE Foster Rd opened its doors on Aug. 15 and serves 120 people experiencing homelessness.

The shelter has so far been booked at capacity each night since it opened, Transition Projects Director of Shelter Services Shaynna Hobson told KOIN 6 News.

“We’ve really been trying to serve the folks that have been staying in this community already. So because we’re full all the time, the second a bed becomes open, it gets filled right away,” Hobson said.

The shelter is 24 hours and serves a mixture of single females and couples, and their pets.

Clients can connect with primary care, mental health, and drug treatment services, through the shelter.

There’s also a commercial-grade kitchen where multiple meals are served each day.

Laurelwood Center is a new Southeast Portland homeless shelter preparing for its first winter in operation November 11, 2019 (KOIN/Danny Peterson).

Though it’s not intended as a permanent form of housing, accepted clients may stay as long as they need to, Hobson said. She added she expects the need for donations to increase in the winter.

“Homelessness is still a crisis here in Portland and I think getting involved in any way you can can really help. Like I said before, just donating warm clothes, blankets. And then also showing up in the spaces and providing a meal,” Hobson said.

Additional amenities provided by the shelter include individual lockers, 10 showers, laundry facilities, a computer lab and an in-house clinic, for which a clinician is currently being sought.

Operating costs for the shelter comes from city and county funds, and private donations.

Information about bed availability at Laurelwood Center can be found at Transition Projects resource center located downtown at 650 NW Irving St.

Later this month, Transition Projects will open its ninth shelter, a temporary winter warming shelter for 75 men, at 421 SW 5th Ave.

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