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Tigard nonprofit aims to expand services to houseless community

Just Compassion expects to break ground on a new transitional housing unit in Tigard in the spring.

TIGARD, Ore. — It's normal to talk about serving meals to people in need on Thanksgiving. For a Tigard nonprofit, that's something that happens year round. 

Just Compassion does a lot more than feed people; the organization also offers shelter and resources to Washington County's houseless community, with a mission of helping people get off the streets. 

Executive director Vernon Baker said the need for these kinds of services is growing. 

"A lot of times, homeless individuals don't have the necessary items they need to even be considered for housing and jobs, so we try and help to eliminate all barriers they might be having," said Baker. 

RELATED: Nonprofit says need for temporary housing is growing in Washington County

Currently, Just Compassion has overnight shelters in Tigard and Beaverton where people can eat, shower and have a safe, comfortable place to stay. It also has a places for people living in RVs and cars to spend the night. 

"We have a safe parking program where people are living in their vehicles. We have about five different locations where people can park and sleep in their vehicles in safe environments," he said.

With the help of federal funding, the nonprofit is planning to expand its services by building a transitional housing unit next door to its Tigard shelter. It expects to break ground on the project in spring 2022.