Portland, Or.- Leaders in Multnomah County and Portland are inviting rental property owners, property managers and neighbors to join a “Home for the Holidays” campaign meant to help dozens of homeless families leave shelter this winter for the peace and stability of a home of their own.
Mayor Ted Wheeler and Chair Deborah Kafoury will personally call on property owners and property managers across the community over the coming weeks to step up with available units and help house 40 families by January 15. Multifamily NW, which represents property agents throughout the region, will also help share our call through its networks.
Similar outreach efforts in past years helped our community house hundreds of formerly homeless veterans.
Participating property agents would work closely with Multnomah County’s primary family shelter providers, Human Solutions, Portland Homeless Family Solutions and Community of Hope — who will help place families and provide ongoing support to ensure placements are a success.
Neighbors who don’t own or manage rental units or have any units available will be invited to help families furnish their new homes by donating new or lightly used household items to the Community Warehouse.
The region’s housing crisis is hitting families particularly hard, with record numbers of families seeking shelter in recent months. After averaging 220 adults and children in its main shelter and overflow spaces last spring, Human Solutions saw its count top 300 for the first time in August and then approach 500 people this fall.
Those numbers are rising in part because it’s taking families longer and longer to find an opportunity to leave shelter once they arrive there. Three years ago, the average stay in a Human Solutions shelter was 23 days. Now it’s nearly three times as long, at 65 days.