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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

SAFES shelter changes lives

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish oversees the Portland Housing Bureau, which is proud to support the Salvation Army's Female Emergency Shelter (SAFES)

January 10, 2012

Our community partners do outstanding work helping people experiencing homelessness move from the streets to permanent housing. KGW highlights one of our partners, the Salvation Army, in a recent story about the Female Emergency Shelter, which goes by the acronym SAFES.

"An emergency shelter for women who live on the streets of Portland," writesPat Dooris, "is helping about a third of them get into stable housing." The report highlights the story of Billie Robinson, who lived on Portland's streets for many years.

After a number of winters using the SAFES shelter, Robinson says, she decided she was ready to make a change. With the help of shelter staff, Robinson stopped using drugs and alcohol and moved into a small apartment downtown. "For Billie Robinson," Dooris reports, "the streets of Portland are now simply a place to walk. Not a place to live."

We're very proud to support SAFES - this year, PHB has invested over $800,000 in the facility, which serves hundreds of women each year. Our funding supports 50 year-round beds and additional capacity during the winter.

We know shelter space doesn't end homeless by itself, but it's an important aspect of our overall strategy. Shelters provide immediate safety for those who have lost housing, offer safe respite from the cold, and are a central point from which to coordinate other services.

Congratulations to Billie Robinson and to the SAFES staff for another success.

Shelter helps Portland's homeless women

Pat Dooris on KGW

Extended pool hours for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 11, 2012

By David Nguyen

Portland Parks & Recreation has added extra sessions at three Southeast Portland pools for next Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Our Aquatic Program is dedicated to providing a fun and creative atmosphere for the development of swimming skills in the youth and adults of Portland, and we're committed to the importance of water safety and training for their lifeguards, swim instructors, and the community. 

Swimming is a valuable lifetime skill and a healthy, recreational activity for everyone to enjoy.

A look at Bud Clark Commons' first 6 months

January 12, 2012

In June 2011, we opened the gates of Bud Clark Commons, a one-of-a-kind facility near Union Station in downtown Portland. It combines shelter space, a wide variety of day access services and programs, and permanent homes to create a truly unique place for some of our most vulnerable to access help.

In "A community on common ground," Tribune reporter Peter Korn introduces us to a few of the folks who use BCC. Resident Audrey Lane moved into BCC after 10 years without a home of her own; as Lane explained to Korn, "'I isolate. It's a way for me to stay clean and sober.'"

But her isolation "is showing cracks...Lane says when she makes a pot of chili or spaghetti, she takes it around to three or four of the men with apartments on her floor...The commons, Lane says, is the first place she's ever lived that is truly her own."

Other residents have connected with mental health or treatment for chronic diseases for the first time in their lives. Housing experts around the country have endorsed this unique model, Korn writes, highlighting the number of residents who have begun receiving mental health services and the very high retention rate for BCC's residents.

Later this month, we'll present a 6-month report to Council detailing what we've accomplished since BCC opened. We'll share details about how many people we've helped move into permanent housing, how many have used the day access center, and more. We'll also report on our successful partnership with the neighborhood, which includes reduced calls to police and positive feedback on the center's impact.

Holiday weekend offers opportunities for service, fun

January 13, 2012

Plenty of folks will be out of town this weekend, but for those of us staying in Portland, Steve Beaven writes in today's Oregonian, there are lots of free and low-cost options for service and fun.

Portland Parks & Recreation is offering extended hours at a variety of pools around town.

A number of organizations are seeking volunteers for service events: The Clark Center, Northeast Portland Backpack Lunch Program, Tryon Creek State Park, the King School PTA, Friends of Trees, The ReBuilding Center, and Earl Boyles Elementary School. A complete listing of volunteer opportunities can be found on the Hands on Greater Portland site.

Seattle Times features Forest Park

January 13, 2012

By David Nguyen

Portland largest park, and one of the largest urban forests in the nation, Forest Park was featured in The Seattle Times' Outdoor section on Wednesday.

Forest Park is a 5,000-acre natural area with an impressive trail system featuring 70+ miles of trails, fire lanes and gravel roads, providing excellent opportunities for hiking, walking, running, and simply escaping the urban atmosphere.

The park’s 30.2-mile long Wildwood Trail is a part of the region’s 40-Mile Loop system that links Forest Park to pedestrian and other routes along the Columbia River to Gresham, to Southeast Portland, along the Willamette Greenway, and back to the Marquam Trail in Southwest Portland.

To help you find your way to various trailheads, there's a handy google map with info on 17 of Forest Park's most popular trailheads. Follow the link to view the overview map and/or generate driving directions to any of the trailheads.

Photo courtesy Bike Portland