Mayor threatens to pull out of city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services unless shelter capacity expanded

John Elizalde

The JOHS doesn't like indoor shelter space because of cost, $10k/bed is the # they use.  And, the mayor touted 300 beds for this winter was his goal.  Where did that # come from?  Maybe it tested well with likely voter focus groups.  My concern about the spat is that it reconfirms the fact that the Joint office is not a player during the conflict.  The city agencies are not able to respond with any diligence to the housing emergency (the Street Response manager said she could have Street Response available city wide by 2/22 - huh? during a crisis we can't get a tested project in the field for 2 yrs from start up? Hell, pay CAHOOTs to send up a few teams and forget the PDX fire bureau).
The key is we can't depend on the city to do much to help those outside.  
John E

Tim McCormick

while this sounds suspiciously like electioneering games, as County Chair Kafoury and Mayoral contender Sarah Ianarrone commented, on the other hand I think the situation does quite need a more "honest and transparent conversation" as Wheeler says. There's been a lot of "Trust us, we know the answer" in this field.  

"Wheeler: Homeless system needs new thinking, resources, solutions."
By Jim Redden, Portland Tribune, September 23 2020. 

"The challenges facing our community now — exacerbated by COVID — are extreme, and require new thinking, new resources, and new solutions," Wheeler wrote. "I am prepared for an honest and transparent conversation about where we are collectively succeeding, and where we aren't — I hope my County colleagues are as well."

"Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said parts of the homeless services system are not working and "require new thinking, new resources, and new solutions."
Wheeler made the statement Wednesday, Sept. 23, after a dispute erupted between the mayor and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury over the needs of homeless shelter space just weeks before the Nov. 3 general election. Wheeler is running for reelection.

"During an editorial board interview with The Oregonian/, Wheeler said the city-county Joint Office of Housing Services needs to open more shelter space or he will consider pulling Portland out of it."

Tim McCormick
Editor at HousingWiki, Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon