Mayor Ted Wheeler this morning announced there will be 75 shelter beds this winter at the Mt. Scott Community Center in Southeast Portland.
That is in addition to 100 beds the city announced Sept. 17 will be open for the winter at the Charles Jordan Community Center in North Portland.
Wheeler has been pushing the Joint Office for Homeless Services to open hundreds of additional shelter beds for the winter.
The mayor, who is locked in a tight reelection race with challenger Sarah Iannarone, has been under pressure from business and neighborhood groups increasingly frustrated with the large number of campers pushed onto the streets by the economic impact of COVID-19.
In September, Wheeler told The Oregonian he was contemplating pulling city money from the Joint Office of Homeless Services if the agency didn't move more aggressively on shelters. That drew a strong rebuke from the top official at the city's partner in the Joint Office. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury called Wheeler's threat "outrageous."
Today, the mayor praised the Joint Office's work.
"The Joint Office worked hard to secure more 24-hour shelter for people in need. Our most vulnerable community members deserve safe, indoor places to be this winter," Wheeler said in a statement. "I am grateful to the Joint Office, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the Portland Housing Bureau for working together to make this space available. While we're making progress toward long-term solutions, winter is on the way and our community centers are working overtime now to keep people off the street and out of the weather."