Shleifer Furniture building to become shelter on Monday – kgw.com
PORTLAND, Ore – On Monday, the closed Shleifer Furniture building in Southeast Portland will become a temporary homeless shelter.
The city of Portland and Multnomah County joined with some Portland development firms to open it as a shelter.
Details will be announced in a Monday press conference with Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Eric Cress of Urban Development +Partners, Jonathan Malsin of Beam Development and Transition Projects director George Devendorf.
The city and the county will move the Columbia Shelter, a downtown temporary shelter on the corner of Southwest 4th Avenue and Washington Street , to the Shleifer building at 509 S.E. Grand Avenue. Its old location will no longer be a shelter, because of the move.
The Columbia Shelter opened temporarily to protect people from the bitter winter cold.
The Shleifer building, which will now, also be called the Columbia Shelter, will provide overnight accommodations for up to 100 people, including men, women, and couples.
Denis Theriault, with A Home for Everyone, says the shelter at the Shleifer building will remain temporary, until the fall, but says, as of now, there is not a set timeline for when it will close as a shelter.
He says the shelter will be open from 7pm to 6:30am and people will stay on the first level where the furniture used to be. He also confirmed there won’t be a lineup of people outside, every night. The Shleifer building will be for reserved beds, by appointment only.
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury says this is about building strong partnerships in the business community to help people.
“We’ve not just opened shelters because of the good graces of the city and county money, but we have worked with businesses around our town to get their buildings to be used as shelters as well,” she told KGW’s Laural Portland for an upcoming ‘Straight Talk’ show.
Shleifer Furniture closed after 80 years and the building was sold to Malsin in 2015 who has plans to turn it into a hotel.
Those plans, are still a green light, according to Theriault.
“I think there’s obviously a need for some hospitality on the Eastside,” Malsin told the Portland Business at the time. “This is one of the most intact historic buildings in the Central Eastside, so we’d love to restore it into something hospitality-related, probably a hotel with a restaurant.”
One business owner nearby the Shleifer building told KGW that city and county didn’t tell the business owners the building would become a shelter.
He worries about what this will do to property values, and wonders if the Schleifer building is safe for people as a shelter.
© 2017 KGW-TV
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