Community members and stakeholders gathered on March 16, 2023, for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Arbor Lodge shelter. The beginning of renovations to the shelter site is one of the many components of Multnomah County and the Joint Office of Homeless Services’ ongoing, overarching shelter expansion work.
Located in the site of a former pharmacy at 1952 N. Lombard St., Arbor Lodge shelter will serve 106 people, with priority given to people referred from the surrounding community and North Portland. The building was purchased by Multnomah County in December 2020 and has been used by the County as a severe weather shelter, a COVID-19 vaccination site, then later as a short-term shelter.
The shelter is planned to reopen in 2024, and will offer wraparound services provided by Do Good Multnomah.
“I know there's a lot of work to be done. But I'm very excited about the opportunity of Do Good and neighbors and shelter coming together and being one, and setting an example of how to do this right,” said Daniel Hovanas, Do Good Multnomah’s chief operating officer, at the event.
Joshua Bates, interim director for the Joint Office of Homeless Services, emphasized that shelters like Arbor Lodge support the housing-first — but not housing-only — work of the Joint Office.
“Arbor Lodge really means a promise: a promise to our most vulnerable community members to support them in some of their worst times,” Bates said. “Arbor Lodge will provide person-centered services, administered through Do Good Multnomah, for individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness. These services will provide a place to stay, wraparound services, and ultimately lead to those folks being permanently housed.”
Commissioner Susheela Jayapal spoke at the event, saying she was thankful for the neighborhood’s commitment to welcoming unhoused community members.
“We’re a welcoming County, we’re really clear about that. We feel like we are called to create these kinds of spaces for our unhoused neighbors that are welcoming as well as sheltering to them,” Jayapal said. “I know you all, our Arbor Lodge and Kenton neighbors, share the values of hospitality and of safety, trust, and belonging. I know it, because I have seen it throughout these years.”