Mt. Scott Community Center To Shelter Homeless

Photo: City of Portland

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced more progress toward his commitment to deliver hundreds of new COVID-19 shelter beds this fall and winter.

Beginning the first week in November, Southeast Portland’s Mt. Scott Community Center will offer 75 spaces to Portlanders experiencing homeless through March 2021.

In August, Mayor Wheeler directed the City/County Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) and the Portland Housing Bureau to work together to create several hundred new shelter beds ahead of the winter.

Mt. Scott Community Center will now become the second Portland Parks & Recreation space to open since that directive. On Sept. 17, Mayor Wheeler announced that North Portland’s Charles Jordan Community Center would open and provide 100 safe beds through the winter.

Together, the two Community Centers will offer 24-hour shelter for 175 people who would otherwise be living outside. At both sites, people will have a place to sleep and store their belongings. They’ll also have access to three meals a day, showers, laundry and housing navigation services. Mt. Scott will be managed directly by Joint Office staff. Do Good Multnomah, a shelter and housing services nonprofit, is managing Charles Jordan through a contract with the Joint Office.

“The Joint Office worked hard to secure more 24-hour shelter for people in need. Our most vulnerable community members deserve safe, indoor places to be this winter,” Mayor Wheeler said. “I am grateful to the Joint Office, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the Portland Housing Bureau for working together to make this space available. While we’re making progress toward long-term solutions, winter is on the way, and our community centers are working overtime now to keep people off the street and out of the weather.”

Like the Charles Jordan Community Center, the Mt. Scott Community Center served as part of the Joint Office of Homeless Services’ emergency response to the pandemic, providing space for dozens of beds that had to be shifted from other shelters because of physical distancing. Mt. Scott was open from April through July, and closed when those beds were moved to motels in accordance with public health guidance.

“Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is here for our community. PP&R continues to play a critical role in our City’s response to the crises we’re all facing,” said Adena Long, Director of Portland Parks & Recreation. “COVID-19’s impact on PP&R has forced the closure of our cherished recreation centers and pools to the public. We have pivoted quickly with our partners to ensure these public buildings continue serving our community.”

Source: Portland Mayor's Office