January 25, 2012
Six months ago, we joined community partners to open the doors of Bud Clark Commons, the centerpiece of our 10-Year Plan to End Homelessnes. Today, we were very proud to present a "6-Month Report on Bud Clark Commons" to Council.
A few highlights: Close to 300 people moved to permanent homes, including almost 40 veterans; more than 4,300 people used the day center to look for jobs and housing, shower, check their mail, do laundry, and more; 130 of the most vulnerable people in our community now have a safe, stable place to call home.
The award-winning, LEED Platinum building is a shining example of our city's commitment to affordable housing. Through our 30% Set-Aside for Affordable Housing, we invested nearly $30 million from the River District URA.
Today, we heard from major project partners as well as folks who've experienced BCC 'on the ground' - a resident of Doreen's Place shelter, a Pearl District neighbor, and one of the city's Crime Prevention Coordinators, who commented on the outstanding partnership between neighbors and building staff and clients.
Looking ahead, we face a number of challenges, including painful budget cuts at the state and federal level and the fact that Portland doesn't control the root causes of homelessness. Unemployment, a broken mental health system, and rampant foreclosures are national problems that demand national solutions. Now more than ever, we must continue our strong local commitment to fighting homelessness.
Bud Clark Commons offers people the opportunity to transform their lives. We heard poignant testimony today from a resident who's taking steps to get back to self-sufficiency. The most important thing Bud Clark Commons gave him, he told us, was his dignity. We judge our success one person, one family at a time. Every time we help someone with a hand up, it's a victory.
Click here for the fact sheet we shared with Council - it captures highlights about who we've helped, and how.
Tribune reporter Peter Korn did a two-part series on BCC this month: