The push to reopen Multnomah County's never-used Wapato Jail as a temporary homeless shelter has become the center of policy debate—and at least one political campaign.
Homeless advocates object that the vacant facility is too far from social services to offer any meaningful relief for the 3,800 people sleeping on Portland's streets or in shelters. Just how far is the North Portland facility from grocery stores, laundries and treatment for mental health problems?
WW gave this reporter bus fare and a map, in order to calculate how long it would take to travel by bus to the closest places to buy grub, clean clothes and seek help kicking an addiction.
It starts with a 15-minute walk to the nearest bus stop on the No. 11 line, which doesn't run on weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, it's a 4.2-mile walk to the MAX station at the Expo Center.
Here's what else we found on foot.
Nearest convenience store:
Plaid Pantry (1020 N Marine Drive)
15-minute walk, 13 minutes on No. 11 bus (to Jubitz)
Nearest grocery store:
Safeway (8330 N Ivanhoe St.)
15-minute walk, 27 minutes on No. 11 bus (to St. Johns)
Lee's Laundrette (2052 N Lombard St.)
15-minute walk, 18 minutes on No. 11 bus (to St. Johns), 9-minute wait, 18 minutes on No. 4 bus (to Gresham), 3-minute walk.
(1 hour 3 minutes)
Frequently used drug treatment center:
Central City Concern Old Town Clinic
(727 W Burnside St.)
15-minute walk, 18 minutes on No. 11 bus (to St. Johns), 9-minute wait, 49 minutes on No. 4 bus (to Gresham), 5-minute walk.
(1 hour 36 minutes)