A national charity announced a big partnership and a lofty goal to house 20 percent of Portland’s “chronically homeless” by creating 300 permanent supportive housing units over the next few years.
Catholic Charities calls the project the “Healthy Housing Initiative”.
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Following a competitive application process, Portland was one of five cities nationwide selected to participate. The others were Spokane, Las Vegas, St. Louis and Detroit.
In large part, they want to use properties owned by local catholic churches, such as a priest’s former rectory near Southeast Portland’s Holy Family Parish.
Staff were on hand to, prep the two-story home to house five homeless women from the Portland area.
“We’re really talking about land that can be re-purposed on church property. We’re talking about buildings that may not be in use. School buildings that might be closed and haven’t been used for years,” said Deacon Richard Birkel, executive director of Catholic Charities of Oregon.
In a news conference Birkel announced, as part of the project, Catholic Charities would be partnering with the Archdiocese of Portland and Providence Health and Services.