PORTLAND, Ore. -- On any given night in Portland, an estimated 1,700 people are on the streets. Some are living right now among the tarps and tents of Occupy Portland.
City Commissioner Nick Fish oversees the parks, and also the Portland Housing Bureau. He says some of the homeless at Chapman and Lownsdale parks may be helped by winter shelter beds opening up next week.
There will be about 300, spread out at places like the Salvation Army.
They add to the 650 that are available year round, but there are never enough.
“We can’t get everybody in to a bed or a shelter, but we will work hard, as hard as we can, to get those people who want to come in from the cold,” said Fish.
At the Bud Clark Commons, there is longer-term housing. There is also immediate help, starting with the things most of us take for granted.
"We have a day center that will connect people to basic services including showers and laundry, provide locker storage. But we also have more advanced services that will connect people to resources that they need to end their homelessness,” said Transition Projects Development Director Tony Bernal.
If anyone from the Occupy Portland camp asks for help, Commissioner Fish said they will be welcome to whatever is available.
“We will do our best to make sure that anybody who is currently part of the Occupy Portland movement who wants to get off the street and into a bed, we’ll try to help them along the way.”
The number to call for shelter help is 2-1-1. You can also find information at the Portland Housing Bureau.