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Joint Office of Homeless Services invites area residents to a Dec. 18 meeting to discuss the opening and operation of a new 100-bed homeless shelter.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JIM REDDEN - This vacant grocery store at 6144 S.E. Foster Road is scheduled to open as a homeless shelter early next year.Portland and Multnomah County plan to open a new, 100-bed homeless shelter at 6144 S.E. Foster Blvd. early next year.

Residents in the area have been invited to a community meeting to discuss the shelter on Monday, Dec. 18. The invitation came from the city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS). Scheduled to attend are Mayor Ted Wheeler, County Chair Deborah Kafoury, County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson and JOHS director Marc Jolin.

The location is a vacant building in a strip mall that last housed the Winly Cash and Carry grocery. It is located between Southeast 61st Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.

"By next year, we plan to convert the space into a high-quality shelter with room for roughly 100 people, along with offices, showers, laundry facilities and other amenities that will help participants better connect with services. The shelter would be managed by an experienced, proven operator and would run on a reservation-based system to avoid queueing outside," said the invitation, signed by Wheeler and Kafoury.

The invitation said the planned shelter will be one of several emergency shelters the city and county have opened in recent years in response to the homeless crisis. Another recent shelter cited in the invitation is in the Westmoreland neighborhood.

"Those new beds mean people who might otherwise have camped outside, in tents or on sidewalks, have a warm, safe place to go instead. Those beds allow folks to come in with their pets, or with their partners, and store belongings during the day. It's working. We counted more people sleeping in shelter than outside last winter," the invitation says.

The county has also filed paperwork to open a 200-bed shelter in a vacant warehouse in the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 18, at the offices of Service Employees International Union Local 503, 6401 S.E. Foster Rd.

You can read the invitation on the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association Facebook page at fosterpowell.com/general-info/community-meeting-to-discuss-planned-shelter-at-6144-se-foster-road/

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