The Portland City Council is set to consider an order Monday that would extend the 50-bed expansion of the city’s Homeless Services Center (HSC) until June 3, 2024.
The City Council voted to expand the shelter by 50 beds via an emergency declaration in November, in response to public health and safety concerns for the large population of homeless individuals living in encampments throughout the city.
In the proposed amendment extending the order, the city writes that as a result of the HSC expansion “outreach workers have had greater success in helping individuals access shelter, addressing urgent health needs, preventing fatalities, and mitigating the public health and safety consequences of hazardous encampments.”
The emergency declaration is set to expire on Monday, Feb. 5, the day of the City Council meeting.
Current city data reports a total of 42 tents citywide as of Thursday, Feb. 1 — a number which has fallen dramatically since the city swept the large encampment at Harbor View Park at the start of January.
The move to extend the 50-bed expansion to the HSC comes as the city faces a projected $20 million shortfall in its budget for the coming fiscal year, due to a decline in state and federal funds which helped offset the city’s outsized welfare spending.
The order is sponsored by City Manager Danielle West.
Seven votes in the affirmative would be required Monday to pass the order as an emergency and be effective immediately.