Chronic Homelessness is fast becoming the most challenging societal challenge many cities face in the US. A quick walk or drive around Portland’s core areas, or almost anywhere in the metro area, will unfortunately reveal an astounding number of tents and homeless camps. In public parks, under bridges, on sidewalks, in parking lots and along freeways, the numbers of people living on Portland’s street has been steadily increasing, even in one of the best economies in decades.
Causes are broad and varied, but mental illness and addiction issues are at the top of the list. With affordable and shelter housing maxed out, and new supply taking months and years to bring online, the County turned to looking at other quick alternatives to get people off the street and sheltered, and then hopefully on to services, and then off the streets permanently.
Todd worked with the County and several motel property owners to secure master leases on over 100 units of housing in three separate projects to help get people off the streets and into a “first phase” of housing.