Oregon’s largest homeless shelter could close in three weeks

Bybee Lakes Hope Center

KGW8 reports news that Multnomah County is sitting on $65 million meant for homeless services, while Bybee Lakes Hope Center has asked for $5 million of that to keep their doors open.

Rose Have guest, Katherine Wheeler was once on the streets and told KGW that places like these are life-changing.

“Having a shelter, having a place to call home … just having a spot to be able to lay to rest and not have to stress that you’re going to be out on the streets, beat up, raped or hurt,” Wheeler said.

But on Monday, Helping Hands stopped taking any new admissions to their shelters, citing a lack of funding.

“The money is going out faster than it’s coming in, so we’ve had to make the call for the time being to halt services that we provide while we come up with a solution to our financial issues,” Evans said.

Meanwhile, Multnomah County is still debating how to spend $65 million unspent dollars intended for homeless services. Evans is asking for $5 million of that. They currently get nothing from the county. Without that infusion, Evans said that they could be forced to close their doors in three weeks.

It’s an unexpected timeline that hijacks Portland’s homeless day centers, like Rose Haven and Greater Good Northwest, who often send people to overnight shelters like Bybee Lakes.

“When there are less and less resources available, that impacts all of the nonprofits in our community and our houseless neighbors more than anything,” added Liz Starke, development director at Rose Haven.

Day centers like these two in downtown Portland said that Bybee Lakes Hope Center is one of the few shelters where they can typically get someone in immediately.

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