City of Portland, Multnomah County steps in to help with the costs of the new homeless shelter | News


PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The Oregon Harbor of Hope, a nonprofit organization behind a temporary multimillion-dollar haven opening soon in the Pearl district, says it has hit a number of hurdles.

Now the city of Portland and Multnomah County are coming on the scene to help pay for the operational costs of the first year the Port of Hope navigation center is open.

When Port of Hope first proposed the shipping center, its leaders said they would pay to build and operate the shelter using privately-raised funds – including a $ 1.5 million contribution from Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle.

But after some unexpected construction costs and other expenses have affected their overall budget of $ 3.5 million, they now turn to the Joint Service for Homeless for assistance.

"To be sure we will have the opportunity to have this facility working for everyone in the community and keep the partnership intact, we are willing to provide operational funding," said Denis Theriault, communications coordinator for JOHS.

According to Theriault, together, the city of Portland and Multnomah County will contribute more than one million dollars to operate the temporary installation of 100 beds. However, he could not give FOX 12 the exact amount it will cost to run.

Theriault tells FOX 12 that Port of Hope spent twice the amount initially set aside to build the tent-like structure on the Northwest Naito Parkway under the Broadway Bridge.

He says JOHS saw the opportunity to help out as a "win-win".

"Joint office funds shelter already. We have capacity that is in temporary spaces in the center. So we could transfer that capacity to this new building, "he said.

According to Theriault, JOHS was already looking for a new facility to serve as a year-round shelter for the homeless, when the Harbor of Hope contacted them.

"We tried to do this in a warehouse downtown, we found it would be very expensive," he said.

Theriault says the parties have drawn up an agreement: the city of Portland and Multnomah County will pay Transitions Projects, another local non-profit organization, to operate the Port of Hope navigation center year-round.

And, according to him, it will be more than just a place for homeless people to sleep at night. There will be shower and laundry facilities, drug recovery services and mental health treatment will be offered.

The goal, according to Theriault, is to take those who need help for permanent housing.

According to the authorities, Harbor of Hope intends to continue raising funds to help with operating costs in the coming years.

They tell FOX 12 that the navigation center may be operational as early as June this year.

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