PORTLAND, Ore. -- As the rain picks up and temperatures drop, the city of Portland is once again in the business of converting empty commercial space into emergency shelters.
Today at 12:30 p.m., Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and other local leaders are expected to be on hand at 333 Southwest Park Avenue, to officially open a new, temporary winter shelter.
The space will be run by the local non-profit Transition Projects, and directors say it should accommodate about 100 men each night. During the day, directors hope to have bathrooms and storage space available.
Advocates say the plan came together quickly, after local developer Tom Cody offered up the ground floor of his newly purchased property, while renovations carry on in other parts of the building. He reportedly estimates that process could take six months.
Cody was one of a handful of opponents to the Terminal 1 project. His name was on the short list of developers and agencies who filed an official land-use appeal with the state to stop the project, one pitched by fellow Portland developers Homer Williams and Dike Dame.
Local businesses donated plumbing materials and other supplies to get Cody’s new space into working order.
They’re calling it PEACE II, a nod to a similar set-up, in a building donated by Portland’s Menashe family last winter.
That space, called the PEACE Shelter, was also labeled as “temporary." It opened and closed alongside the women’s SEARS shelter, in Multnomah Village. Many of those staying in both spaces, ended up moving to the old Hansen building, a now-permanent shelter space near NE Glisan and 122nd.
A Multnomah County spokesperson said a small number of men stayed in PEACE II Wednesday night, adding spaces will be assigned based on a reservation system.
Advocates say priority will go to men over the age of 55, veterans and those with disabilities.
Those interested are encouraged to call 211info.