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Mayor Wheeler hosts preview opening of Temporary Alternative Shelter Site

News Article
Mayor behind podium
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Mayor Wheeler held a preview opening of Clinton Triangle, the first of three of the City of Portland’s Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites, on Monday July 17th. The site's is set to open in the coming weeks.

pods

"This site will connect unsheltered Portlanders to much-needed services to ensure they can get off and stay off the street.  These services will include access to permanent housing, behavioral health resources, and more. I am confident that these temporary sites will save lives," said Mayor Wheeler.

Portlanders experiencing homelessness who are referred by city, county and nonprofit outreach partners (walk-ins will not be allowed) will be able to access at least one meal per day, restrooms, and showers (including ADA-accessible restrooms) laundry, storage space, electricity, Wi-Fi, and nearby public transportation. This is a low-barrier shelter for adults (age 18+) and pets are allowed. Guests can stay for an indefinite period of time, though the intention is for individuals to use the site temporarily before transitioning to other housing or care.

Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites

Highlights of this collaborative, innovative project:
  • Local construction companies involved – pods & sanitation centers: 140 pods manufactured by Portland-based Lit Workshop.
  • Multiple containerized restroom, shower, and laundry facilities manufactured by Tigard-based ContekPro.
  • Industrial kitchen items for meal storage and prep purchased from Pitman Restaurant Equipment.
  • Urban Alchemy is contracting with Feed the Mass, a local nonprofit, to supply meals to the TASS.

Urban Alchemy sought local talent

o To support the extensive services at each site, Urban Alchemy (as of July 14) has hired more than 100 people locally. 85 are already active practitioners and 30 are being onboarded to staff the three Portland sites.

o Urban Alchemy operates with a strong ethos of giving people a second chance. Their model is well-suited in providing services to a population of guests because many of their staff have survived similar challenges.

o 92% of Urban Alchemy’s overall organization staff are BIPOC. 96% have been incarcerated and/or experienced houselessness (according to their January proposal to the City of Portland).

Care for the surrounding neighborhood

o Clinton Triangle sits at an intersection between vibrant residential and industrial neighborhoods – Hosford-Abernethy to the northeast, Brooklyn to the southwest of Powell Boulevard and the Central Eastside to the northwest.

o The City has established an agreement that Urban Alchemy secure, clean and patrol a perimeter of approximately 1,000-foot outside the Temporary Alternative Shelter Site, where the City will prohibit unsanctioned camping. Urban Alchemy will provide direct outreach to any unsheltered persons in that area through daily walking rounds in the area. Business owners, residents, school principals are encouraged to engage with Urban Alchemy and contact facilitators about any concerns related to the site.

o The city engaged with neighborhood associations over three months and 10+ meetings to facilitate a Good Neighbor Agreement that captures the community’s expectations for this location, along with identified data metrics to measure its impact on the community and on helping Portland make progress on the challenge of unsheltered homelessness.

o The City is leveraging its successful Problem Solver meeting structure, organized through the Public Environment Management Office, to capture regular feedback from the neighborhood’s on top priority livability improvements.

Increasing city-funded shelter capacity

o As construction at Clinton Triangle is completed, two other shelter sites are opening this month, expanding shelter capacity by 100 sleeping units. Sunderland RV Park (a Safe Rest Village operated by the Salvation Army at 9827 NE Sunderland Ave) has 55 spots available for people living in vehicles. And the Reedway Safe Rest Village, also operated by Urban Alchemy (10550 S.E. Reedway Street) will begin welcoming guests at the property where there will be 60 sleeping pods.

Urban Alchemy

o The California-based nonprofit partner currently has contracts to provide service at Peninsula Crossing and Reedway Safe Rest Villages in addition to the Clinton Triangle Temporary Alternative Shelter Site.

o Urban Alchemy is a 24/7 operation with 1 staff member for every 15 guests. Staff are trained in de-escalation, trauma-informed care and equipped with life-saving measures such as Narcan.

o Guests must check in and out upon entry and exit – and follow security measures

o Urban Alchemy provides access to care coordination managers who help guests navigate social services (1:20 ratio).

o Central City Concern, Health Share, and CareOregon will be on-site to support those on site. Close coordination with Multnomah County public health will provide guests with a continuum of care, whether from addiction and mental health treatment to applying to programs such as the Oregon Health Plan.

o Outreach teams will be performing additional engagement with the neighborhood.