The city of Portland and Multnomah County are funding a new winter downtown shelter for men.
Last week, the seasonal men’s homeless shelter opened up in downtown Portland at Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Washington Avenue and will remain open for the next six months. It contains 75 beds and allows residents who have made reservations to stay as many nights as they want.

The shelter is funded by the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

Stacy Borke, Senior Director of Programs for Transition Projects, the nonprofit running the shelter, says priority is given to men if they are over 55 years old, veterans or disabled. Borke says the shelter is being filled in chunks to make for a smoother process.  On the first night, 10 beds were filled. By Thanksgiving, Borke expects all 75 beds will be filled.

"As long as they keep showing up for their bed and using the program appropriately, they can keep coming back," says Borke. "It's focused on helping people get off the streets on the coldest months of the year."

The nonprofit operates nine total shelters with 810 beds. Borke says they have to turn people away nightly because of the high demand, especially during the colder winter months.

Borke says there's a "large group of unsheltered, really vulnerable men" concentrated in the downtown area.

The shelter offers free nightly meals and helps connect residents with mental health and medical care and treatment services, and helps residents source more permanent housing and employment opportunities.