Updated May 9, 2022
The Joint Office of Homeless Services believes that just because someone loses their housing, they shouldn’t have to lose their community, too.
In December 2021, the Joint Office began leasing a building at 120 S.E. Market St., a warehouse with ample office space, with plans to create a 24/7 services-enhanced shelter serving up to 120 adults at a time.
This page will offer interested community members some basic information about the shelter, along with ways to stay connected around opportunities to volunteer and support participants.
What is the plan for using 120 S.E. Market St.?
- Starting May 9, 2022, with some initial renovations complete, 120 S.E. Market has opened as a 24/7 shelter serving 120 adults of all genders, operated by contracted shelter provider All Good Northwest.
- The site was first used in December 2021 and again in February 2022 as temporary severe weather shelter, keeping people warm during several days of cold and snowy conditions.
- After additional renovations, the shelter will shift to serving as a shelter for people who identify as women, still serving 120 people. The timeline for that transition is still in development.
How is the shelter being funded?
- Funding for the shelter’s lease and operating expenses was made possible by Business Income Tax surplus dollars allocated last fall by Multnomah County and the City of Portland.
- The Joint Office is contracting with All Good Northwest to manage, operate and provide services at the shelter, just as the Joint Office does with many other service providers throughout the community.
- All Good Northwest will work with community partners to offer health and housing navigation services to all guests at the shelter.
- The shelter will be available through reservations only, and open all day, meaning there won’t be lines to get in every night.
- Guests can keep their beds as long as needed.
- The shelter will offer laundry access, storage, restrooms and offices.
How can someone access the shelter?
- The referral number for access, or to coordinate community donations, is 971-408-2024. Referral information is also online.
Will the shelter be an asset for the community?
- Yes. Adding shelters that focus on housing and health services is a critical part of the Joint Office’s work responding to homelessness.
- Like any business or program, a shelter must be well-run to succeed, for their participants and their neighbors.
Why is this a good site for a long-term shelter?
- Every part of Portland has significant numbers of neighbors experiencing unsheltered homelessness. We must open shelters throughout the community to meet that need.
- The property at 120 S.E. Market is large enough to provide meaningful shelter space to help welcome more of those neighbors off of our streets. Its layout, with a large warehouse bay and office space, makes it suitable for effective renovations.
- The shelter is located near the central city, which puts it close to amenities that are important for anyone in the community, but especially people who are working to end their homelessness:
- Affordable-housing opportunities
- Educational, employment and social services
How does this shelter fit within the Joint Office’s larger body of work?
- The Joint Office has continually expanded shelter, both in the number of beds but also in the types of shelter provided.
- That shelter expansion has continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are more shelter locations now than ever, including in parts of the community that had never hosted a shelter before.
- There are also more shelter beds open now than before the pandemic started, and not just in congregate facilities, but all types, including motels to villages.
- Shelter works best when guests have housing waiting for them at the end of their stay. That’s why the Joint Office has also worked to simultaneously expand resources for rent assistance and housing stabilization services that also help thousands of people in a given year end their homelessness for good.
- Shelter and housing resources aren’t “either/or” strategies. Rather, they are closely linked and should be seen as “both and.”
Will this shelter create camping? How will camping complaints be addressed?
- There are neighbors struggling with unsheltered homelessness throughout the community. Unsanctioned camping may be present both near shelters and away from shelters, but not simply and solely because a shelter is nearby.
- Seasonal and year-round shelters funded by the Joint Office are reservation-only, are open 24/7 and do not require people to line up for beds each night.
- That reduces the incentive for someone to camp in the vicinity of a shelter in hopes of receiving a bed on a given night.
- As part of All Good Northwest’s goal to act as community partners, shelter staff and participants will discourage people from camping and leaving belongings near shelters.
- Shelter staff will perform regular perimeter checks to monitor the site and take care of trash. At times staff may miss something or get behind.
- If you have a specific complaint about an unsanctioned camp, you can submit a report on pdxreporter.org. If the complaint is specifically about trash that needs to be picked up, submit a report to Metro RID Patrol to have the trash cleaned up.
How can I contact the shelter if I have a concern?
- This shelter will be home for some of our unhoused neighbors, offering a sanctuary for people who have experienced the trauma of living outside. Shelter staff will work to create a safe environment for our unhoused neighbors to recuperate and get on their feet.
- For this reason we ask that you first submit concerns about the shelter through the shelter’s community email address, rather than by visiting the shelter unannounced. If you have a specific complaint about an issue directly related to the shelter, please email email@example.com.
- All Good Northwest, however, welcomes respectful visits from housed and unhoused neighbors. And shelter staff will place a high priority on community partnership.
- Representatives from All Good Northwest will also attend regular Central Eastside Industrial Council meetings. These meetings offer a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors and to bring concerns about and ideas for the shelter.