The Human Solutions Family Shelter on outer Southeast Stark Street was built to house 133 people a night. But the number of families seeking help initially edged upward after the shelter opened in a converted vegan strip club in February 2016.
In the past four months, the number of people seeking shelter has more than doubled. On one night—Sept. 7—440 people sought help.
The family shelter has succeeded in turning no one away by finding people places to sleep in area churches and motels. But rising demand is one indication that Portland's housing crunch is far from over.
"The market-rate housing that most families called home…continues to see rising rents, low vacancies and increased competition," says Human Solutions executive director Andy Miller. "Right now, the situation is bleak."