The real estate magnate Jordan Schnitzer says he's still hoping to turn the never-used Wapato Jail into facility for helping people in need.
"We continue to work with several major Portland-based providers of transition mental health services," says Schnitzer. "We're optimistic we'll have some announcement soon. The program might be very exciting."
The news comes after Schnitzer filed for a demolition permit for Wapato last month. (Schnitzer's demolition permit application came after months of discussions with Oregon Harbor for Hope and other nonprofits about the use of the facility for homeless shelter or other related services. )
Also last month: Mayor Ted Wheeler, who had briefly floated his support for considering Wapato as a facility for treatment, backed off that idea. And Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler and Portland City Council candidate Loretta Smith—both of whom ran on the idea that Wapato is a solution to addressing homelessness in Portland— lost badly in the November election.
Multnomah County sold the never-used jail facility to the private sector after determining that it was not a cost-effective place to house the homeless.
Still, Schnitzer says he may yet be able to find a group to use the facility.