Multnomah County has unveiled East Portland's newest homeless shelter for women and families: a former vegan strip club.
The shelter at 16015 SE Stark St. was previously home to Black Cauldron, the second in Johnny Zukle's string of vegan strip clubs. (The food was not very good, our reviewer found.)
Last year, Multnomah County and other private donors gave money to a nonprofit, Human Solutions, to buy the closed club from a Lake Oswego property management company.
The Human Solutions Emergency Family Shelter can now accommodate up to 134 people.
The grand opening of the shelter took place this morning, with appearances by Multnomah County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who supervises the Portland Housing Bureau.
"We are so thankful to Multnomah County and our other funders for believing in the vision of repurposing a community eyesore into a warm, welcoming shelter for families," says Andy Miller, executive director at Human Solutions, "for investing in the conversion of vice to nice!"
The remodeled club provides families and pregnant women a safe place to sleep, a full kitchen, showers, laundry facilities and a computer lab. The shelter will also offer housing assistance and employment counseling.
The shelter will rely on community donations for blankets, pillows, diapers and nutritious food. Services are available 24/7, and dinner is served at 7 pm nightly.