Portland homeless shelter back on track thanks to public cash infusion

An artist's conception of what a homeless shelter next to the Broadway Bridge will look like.

A year-round homeless shelter, made possible in part by a $1.5 million donation from Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, is nearly a reality thanks to a cash infusion from Multnomah County and the city of Portland.

The Joint Office of Homeless Services announced Monday the county and city have agreed to pay operating expenses at a 100-bed shelter financed by the business community.

The nonprofit Harbor of Hope has been working on the shelter since early 2018. Officials say a $3.5 million fundraising target was hit, but spiraling costs at the construction site meant there was only enough money to cover construction and not operating costs. That's where the Joint Office of Homeless Services stepped in.

"They raised the money that they set out to raise," said Denis Theriault, spokesman for the Joint Office. "It's just that that money needs to go into capital and construction costs instead of operations, so we're going to step in, and it's a win-win for everyone."

City and county officials call the partnership unprecedented.

"To go in with the business community on a purpose built shelter is a big deal," said Theriault. "They've never almost fully constructed a shelter for us before."

The shelter is expected to open in June of 2019.

You can read more about the project at Harbor of Hope's website.

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