PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced the newest Temporary Alternative Shelter Site is coming to the St. Johns neighborhood, as part of his plan to build six mass homeless shelters across the city.
In addition to offering tent and pod housing, Wheeler said the North Portland Road shelter will also offer space for RVs and campers.
According to the mayor, the City of Portland has an agreement finalized and aims to open the site in the coming months. The shelter will be run by Urban Alchemy, a California non-profit that also runs the Clinton Triangle temporary shelter which opened in July.
“Our initial site, which opened at the end of July, has proven to be a successful proof of concept and has reached capacity,” Wheeler said in a press release. “The need in our community far exceeds available resources and I look forward to opening this next site as quickly as we can to help get vulnerable Portlanders off the streets. Just in the last four months, the City of Portland has collectively opened four shelter sites between Safe Rest Villages and TASS, expanding the shelter continuum by well over 400 spaces.”
Wheeler’s office says it’s held meetings about the newest shelter with community members, including the St. Johns Neighborhood Association. Officials said they will work with local stakeholders to develop a good neighbor agreement and a neighborhood advisory team.
KOIN 6 reached out to the St. Johns Neighborhood Association, who said they are staying neutral, though they do not plan to work toward an agreement with the City of Portland. They say the camp is moving forward regardless of whether they choose to collaborate.
Three months into the Clinton Triangle shelter’s opening, the site houses 180 guests, Wheeler’s office said — noting a good neighbor agreement was reached between the mayor’s office, the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Association, the Brooklyn Neighborhood, and nearby businesses for this shelter. The organizations regularly meet to share feedback on the Clinton Triangle shelter, according to Wheeler.
Wheeler says the Temporary Alternative Shelter sites serve as a “bridge” to more permanent housing by connecting residents with mental health support, substance use disorder treatment and other services provided by local non-profits.
“We’ve actually identified thats adjacent to the county’s North Portland health clinic that we would convert so its not having to build a new space, but I don’t yet have a timeline for when it would be open,” Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal said.