Home for the Holidays: Campaign hopes to house 40 homeless families

Homeless town hall - (SBG photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Leaders in Multnomah County and Portland are kicking off a campaign Monday aimed at ensuring 40 homeless families have a place to live.

The goal of the campaign is to house 40 families by January 15.

Anyone with open rental space is asked to step up and offer it to families in need.

Those who don’t have a rental space to offer, but want to help, can donate extra furniture and d├ęcor to the cause.

The campaign organizers say if these families found an affordable rental available Monday, they could move in Tuesday because many of them are working or have the housing subsidies they need to be successful in a home of their own.

Organizers say housing costs are the biggest barriers to these families.

The city and county are looking for rentals that cost between $600 and $1,600, depending on unit size.

Recently, city officials are shocked at how quickly the number of homeless people is growing.

In spring 2017, a program called Human Solutions was working with about 220 adults and children to help them find housing. In the summer, the number grew to around 300. Now, in the fall, it’s approaching 500.

The organization says those numbers are rising in part because it’s taking families longer to find an opportunity to leave the shelter.

In 2014, the average stay in a Human Solutions shelter was 23 days. Now, it’s 65 days.

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