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.