NEWS RELEASE: Joint Office of Homeless Services and Do Good Multnomah celebrate opening of renovated 106-bed shelter in North Portland

June 27, 2024

The 106-bed Arbor Lodge shelter, which will be operated by nonprofit provider Do Good Multnomah, will provide wraparound services and pathways to housing for its guests when it opens in summer 2024.
The Joint Office of Homeless Services on June 26 celebrated the imminent reopening of the expanded and renovated Arbor Lodge Shelter, a 106-unit shelter in North Portland that will serve people experiencing homelessness.

The renovation of the shelter is one step toward Multnomah County and the City of Portland’s shared goal to add 1,000 additional shelter units by Dec. 31, 2025 — as outlined in the City and County’s Homelessness Response Action Plan and Community Sheltering Strategy.

Nonprofit provider Do Good Multnomah will continue as the contracted shelter operator for the site, providing wraparound services such as case management and housing navigation.

“Shelter saves lives. This reopening is about making sure every neighborhood in Multnomah County is able to offer those life-saving services,” said Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. “These 106 beds also bring us a big step closer to our goal of adding an additional 1,000 beds by the end of next year.”  

The Arbor Lodge Shelter provides needed shelter beds in North Portland, joining Bybee Lakes Hope Center as one of the only publicly funded, year-round congregate shelters for adults in the area. It also will continue to serve as a hybrid shelter facility, providing village-style personal shelter units outside the main building.

The shelter also complements several nearby, smaller shelters like Kenton Women’s Village and St. Johns Village, which are funded by the Joint Office.

A pre-renovation Arbor Lodge Shelter pictured in 2021. The County used the site as a severe weather shelter, a COVID-19 vaccination site, and then as a temporary 24/7 shelter until renovations to expand and improve the building began in spring 2023.

The renovated shelter incorporates trauma-informed, intentional design. Each bunk features a reading lamp and charging station, and sections are walled off to create more privacy.
“Until we have a safe, decent home for everyone, we need shelters of all types to get people off the streets and into housing,” said Multnomah County District 2 Commissioner Jesse Beason. “While we depend on other jurisdictions to expedite housing production, the vital services we’re opening today — like the beds here at Arbor Lodge or the new drop-in center that will soon open down the street — are needed across the region, including here in North Portland.” 

Located in a former pharmacy at 1952 N. Lombard St., the Arbor Lodge shelter will prioritize serving people referred from the surrounding community and North Portland. Multnomah County purchased the building in December 2020 using federal COVID-19 funding. The County used the building as a severe weather shelter, a COVID-19 vaccination site, and then later as a temporary 24/7 shelter until renovations to expand and improve the building began in spring 2023. 

The upgraded shelter includes amenities like laundry, storage, restrooms, a kitchen, offices, a parking lot and indoor/outdoor common spaces. The overall site design was also updated with improved fencing, interior design improvements and community-led artwork created by local artists.

The renovations also incorporated trauma-informed design, continuing an effort the County has taken over the past few years to improve its congregate shelters. Those design features include providing charging outlets and reading lights at every bunk, and privacy walls to separate groups.

The Arbor Lodge Shelter will offer 18 shelter pods in addition to congregate shelter beds.

"It is amazing to see this project come full circle after an emergency shelter first opened in this location in late 2021. The participants will be safer, and we can be more effective, thanks to the trauma-informed design,” said Daniel Hovanas, Chief Executive Officer of Do Good Multnomah. “We’re prioritizing the unhoused neighbors of North Portland with increased privacy and the amazing kitchen for shared meals. We're especially excited about the 18 pods reserved for women, trans and non-binary individuals, 50% of which will be veterans.”

The shelter will be available through reservations only and open 24/7, meaning there won’t be lines to get in or large groups of people leaving. Guests will be able keep their beds as long as needed, while they work with case managers to plan their next steps toward permanent housing.

“As we work to address the housing affordability crisis, sustaining and expanding shelter capacity remains critical,” said Metro Councilor Mary Nolan. “With the opening of Arbor Lodge, our houseless neighbors in North Portland now have a year-round congregate shelter nearby where they can find respite and take the first step.”