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Homeless woman and 5-year-old daughter featured in ‘One Day’ documentary find housing

After appearing in KGW's "One Day" documentary, Tianna McMullen said she heard from concerned family and friends — including a former employer.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Tianna McMullen and her 5-year-old daughter have a new place to call home. They just moved into a family shelter in Southeast Portland.

“I love it. It’s way comfier than the motor home,” said McMullen.

The 26-year-old mother, featured in the KGW documentary "One Day," had been living in a crowed RV with her daughter, Skyler. They had no running water, no electricity and very little space to store their belongings. McMullen said she’d been forced to move from neighborhood to neighborhood, to avoid upset neighbors who wanted her to leave.

In May, McMullen said she was encouraged to call 211 — a phone line that directs people to social services. Outreach workers connected McMullen to the non-profit Human Solutions. Roughly 24 hours later, McMullen said she and her daughter were placed in a family shelter called Lilac Meadows in Southeast Portland. Their converted motel room came equipped with several beds, a television, microwave and mini refrigerator. 

Watch the full "One Day" documentary:

“It had sheets and blankets and pillows. They gave us towels,” explained McMullen, who is seven months pregnant. “Everything is pretty much here already.”

Multnomah County signed a seven-year lease for the former Briarwood Suites in 2019 and renamed the property Lilac Meadows. Operating costs for the family shelter are funded through the Joint Office Of Homeless Services.

The documentary "One Day" captured the street level-response to Portland’s homeless crisis during a 24-hour period. KGW crews chronicled the struggle that unfolds day in and day out — often stressing social systems and creating friction among neighbors.

“Maybe if we encourage (houseless) people to get resources and find housing and stuff, instead of attacking them all the time and tearing them down — then maybe it can help them get off the streets,” said McMullen.

RELATED: 24 hours inside Portland’s homeless crisis

After appearing in the ‘One Day’ documentary, McMullen said she heard from concerned family and friends — including a former employer. The Best Western Rivershore Hotel in Oregon City rehired her to help do laundry.

“They saw me on the ‘One Day’ thing and were like, ‘Do you need a job?’ explained McMullen. “I loved working there. It was my home away from home.”

In addition to her job at Best Western, McMullen also works part-time for the non-profit PDX Saints Love, providing outreach services to the homeless.

RELATED: Ways to help groups featured in KGW documentary 'One Day'

McMullen said she and her daughter will be able to say in the family shelter indefinitely, although she’s working hard to get her own apartment.

“It was just like one day, all these great things just happened,” explained McMullen. “Wow! Domino effect!”

RELATED: Why KGW created the documentary 'One Day'

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