Police union president says Wapato should be used for shelter

Wapato Jail. (KATU File Photo)

An old idea for dealing with Portland's homeless crisis is gaining new traction.

The Lents Neighborhood Livability Association on Thursday night heard from Daryl Turner, the president of the Portland police union.

Turner and others are pushing for Multnomah County to turn the Wapato Jail into a homeless shelter.

The jail, one of the great boondoggles in local history, was built but never used.

Turner says it would make a great shelter.

“That’s one option, one solution, and it’s not the all to be all, but it’s one thing, a resource that we should use that we haven’t used, and why are we not using it?” he said.

The Wapato Jail was sold earlier this year to developer Jordan Schnitzer. He's said he would give it to the county if it turned it into a homeless shelter. Otherwise, he'll tear it down.

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