Year Two of Supportive Housing Services: John finds stability at SHS-funded motel shelter

November 6, 2023

John credits his stay in the Roseway Motel Shelter with helping him achieve stability. (Photo by Jayden Kepo’o-Caspino of Do Good Multnomah)

“I have stability here”: Roseway Motel Shelter supports John’s path to housing

John, a U.S. Army veteran, said staying at Do Good Multnomah’s Roseway Motel Shelter has provided him with stability — and a path to housing.

“My experience here has been great. This gives me my privacy, my own bathroom, my own bed,” John said. “I have stability here.”

John became homeless after a series of challenging experiences: He lost his trucking business, he got divorced, and he experienced a stroke that left him disabled.

He said that before becoming homeless, he took housing for granted. “I did not understand how much need there was for the stability of housing, and how much you can be destroyed from the inside out when all that is ripped from you,” he said. 

The 110-bed Roseway shelter is operated by Do Good Multnomah. It opened in early 2022. (Photo by Jayden Kepo'o-Caspino of Do Good Multnomah)

With the help of the federal Department of Veteran Affairs’ Community Resource and Referral Center, he was placed in a congregate shelter serving veterans. But because his disability made it hard to live in a congregate setting, he was referred to the Roseway, where he’s lived ever since.

The Roseway, operated by Do Good Multnomah in a converted Rodeway Inn in Northeast Portland, opened in early 2022. With 110 beds, it’s the largest motel shelter in Multnomah County, and is one of the recently opened shelters the Joint Office of Homeless Services funds through the Supportive Housing Services Measure.

The Joint Office added motel shelters to the County’s shelter continuum to better serve seniors and other vulnerable people who might have health challenges or disabling conditions. 

“If it wasn't for the services of Do Good and various other nonprofit organizations, I would literally be in a tent on a sidewalk,” John said. “The most important thing to somebody trying to get off the street is stability. Without stability, you're not going to go anywhere. And Do Good supplies that.”

Motel shelters, which offer case management, housing navigation and other supports, have been an important pathway for helping people return to housing. 

John will be signing a lease soon for a new apartment, and he said he’s looking forward to regaining the independence that comes with having a home of his own. “Living on your own, you live by your own decisions. You make your own mistakes. You're not monitored, which gives you a sense of independence,” John said. “Your self-esteem goes up. Your ego goes up.”

Cover of Multnomah County's Supportive Housing Services FY 2023 annual report.A version of this story appears in Multnomah County’s Supportive Housing Services Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. Read the report here.