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Sat Dec 5, 2020, 06:19 AM

Portland Motels Are Surviving With Contracts to Shelter the Houseless Each Night

The Joint Office of Homeless Services booked 409 hotel and motel rooms to house people who need special shelter from the COVID-19 pandemic—at a cost of $26,441 per day to taxpayers and more than twice that amount for support services.

The city's homeless camps have largely been spared from the pandemic so far. But on Nov. 30, KGW reported that 18 of 27 men in a recovery program at the downtown Union Gospel Mission, along with two staff members, appeared to have contracted the virus.

County health officials have long feared that houseless and otherwise economically marginalized Portlanders would be susceptible to COVID. That's why they've booked long-term leases—most of them through the end of next June—at eight hotels and motels.

"We want to give folks who are vulnerable their own space, including their own bathrooms," says joint office spokesman Denis Theriault.

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2020/12/02/portland-motels-are-surviving-with-contracts-to-shelter-the-houseless-each-night/
(Williamette Week)

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