Our strategy provides a rapid response to people living on the streets. It seeks to prioritize unmet needs to avoid duplicating services that already exist. The service design of this model is a very different approach and has a proven track record in other cities with similar strategies.
Recent history has shown that many in Portland’s homeless population choose to live in self-designed communities or villages, rather than access current shelter systems. When one of these communities is forced to move, the residents “disappear” until they can find another location. When that happens, they are dislocated from service providers. Delivering consistent services is essential to moving the chronically homeless forward in their individual service and personal development plans.
- Operate 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, with no time limit for guests
- Provide life-essential services (food, sleep areas, restrooms, medical care and showers)
- Provide opportunities for peer interaction and socialization
- Allow personal storage for a reasonable number of possessions
Williams and business activist Don Mazziotti quickly assembled a team to create Oregon Harbor of Hope, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on developing special facilities featuring systems of care that meet the broad needs of the chronically homeless and unsheltered. These facilities, we’re calling − “safe harbors” − will be operated in partnership with the city, county, and many nonprofit and faith-based groups.
Our plan is designed to give vulnerable, houseless people access to a safe, humane place to dwell, a supportive community in which to participate, and the essential services they need to stabilize their lives.
A Home for Everyone
We know that no two faces of homelessness are alike. Chronically homeless people need safe shelter, food, transportation, health care, substance abuse treatment, personal and family counseling, life skills training, job search assistance, child care and child care training. We are collaborating with a range of local government, civic and nonprofit partners, and experts in this field to deliver a solution that addresses the most urgent and unmet needs.
“Oregon Harbor of Hope is dedicated to finding solutions for the Portland homeless.”—David Bangsberg, MD, MPH
Oregon Harbor of Hope was founded to create comprehensive solutions to transition Portland’s chronically homeless to healthy lives in permanent housing. We’re dedicated to helping our most disadvantaged neighbors gain access to safe, humane places to dwell and the essential services they need to not just survive, but thrive.