Washington County Announces “Bridge” Shelter Community Meetings

Release date: 02/24/2022
Sponsored by: Housing Services Department

Community members are invited to learn more about bridge shelters and share their input

 

Bridge Center

The Department of Housing Services of Washington County is holding a series of virtual, informational meetings in March for community members to learn about future shelters and share their input. The county has a goal to provide 250 year-round shelter beds to serve people experiencing homelessness, recognizing the need for year-round shelter in every part of Washington County. New shelters will expand the county’s capacity to help people find housing and introduce services to prevent and address homelessness.

Washington County has launched an aggressive response to the housing crisis. Voter initiatives, as well as state and federal funding, have expanded the capacity of Washington County’s Department of Housing Services to address the root causes of housing instability and homelessness by providing rent assistance and other critical services, and through the creation of affordable housing and shelters.

“Year round shelters are an important part of our community’s response to the housing crisis in Washington County,” stated Dr. Vernon Baker, executive director of Just Compassion. “Shelters provide people with safe, clean, and stable temporary housing so they can find jobs, access services, and work toward securing permanent housing and it is important they are available year round.”

Since July 2021, the county has funded over 100 bridge shelter beds in the community, partnering with culturally specific and culturally responsive shelter operators. These shelters combine case management, extensive support services, and stable shelter for roughly 120 days to help program participants find permanent, affordable housing.

“People who experience chronic homelessness benefit from experiencing a healthy, secure community at a shelter,” said Emily Roots, Department of Housing Services Public Affairs Administrator. “Shelter teams include counselors, addiction specialists, and workforce specialists who are committed to helping people succeed and find permanent housing.”

Thousands of households experience homelessness in Washington County every year, and tens of thousands more are at risk of losing stable housing. Washington County residents with disabling conditions and extremely low incomes are most severely impacted by the housing crisis. Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color also disproportionately experience homelessness throughout the region and state.

Upcoming community meetings. To register, go to wcor.us/ShelterEngagement

Forest Grove, Cornelius and surrounding areas
Tuesday, March 1
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and surrounding areas
Thursday, March 3
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Hillsboro, Aloha and surrounding areas
Thursday, March 10
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Countywide
Saturday, March 12
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

For language interpretation needs or questions about the events, county residents may contact Shelters@co.washington.or.us or call 503-846-3790. Community members who cannot attend their community meeting are invited to share their input via an online survey.

Media Contact:

Emily Roots, Public Affairs Administrator
503-846-3790
Emily_Roots@co.washington.or.us